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Egypt Protests Continue After Night Of Violence

posted 6 Jul 2013, 02:00 by Mpelembe   [ updated 6 Jul 2013, 02:00 ]

Protesters remain on the streets of Cairo after violent scenes across Egypt which left at least 24 people dead.

CAIROEGYPT (JULY 6, 2013) (REUTERS) -  Supporters and opponents of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi remained camped out in Cairo on Saturday (July 6) after a day and night of violence across the country.

At least 24 people died across Egypt on Friday as Islamists opposed to Mursi's overthrow took to the streets to vent their fury at what they say was a military coup.

Fierce clashes in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria left 12 dead and 200 injured, while in Cairo, five people were killed as pro- and anti-Mursi protesters ran amok in central areas and armoured personnel carriers rumbled among them to restore calm.

Mursi's removal has deepened Egypt's political crisis. With his supporters enraged, the Muslim Brotherhood says it wants nothing to do with what the army has billed as an inclusive transition plan, culminating in fresh elections.

Brotherhood supporters who were gathered on Saturday (July 6) at the Rabaa al-Adaweya Mosque in a Cairo suburb said they wanted to march to Tahrir Square to take on the anti-Mursi supporters gathered there.

"We are going to continue our protest here in this square. And God willing, we must return to our original square, Tahrir square, the square that saw the 25th of January revolution. We must retrieve it from the thugs. We will march from Rabaa al-Adaweya to Tahrir square, we must do that. And president Mursi has to come out and be reinstated as Egyptian president," said Mursi supporterAhmed el-Taalaby.

Brotherhood officials have insisted they will not resort to violence, but deep anger remains over the intervention of the army, headed by General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

"The violence that happened yesterday all over Egypt comes from from the deep state, which is basically the old regime who are trying to return General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi by means of a coup. But they have failed because 32 million people took to the streets who are rejecting the military coup. He thought the country was like the days of the ousted Hosni Mubarak. He thought that we would succumb with beatings and violence and that with state security, he could retrieve his military state again," Mursi supporter Bayoumi Ali told Reuters.

The army, which had pledged to protect demonstrators and keep rival factions apart, has troops in the area around Tahrir Square. But early on Saturday morning, things appeared calm with only a handful of anti-Mursi supporters still there, compared to the many thousands of Friday night.

Some of those who remained in the square said their demands remained the same as they had been two years ago, during Egypt's 2011 revolution.

"Our demands have been met but the Brotherhood's demands haven't. And their demand is blood, while our demands are bread, freedom and social justice. These are our demands since the first day of the revolution of 25th January, when the whole world talked about this revolution. We want to achieve this for all of Egypt. We want every Egyptian to be able to take their rights," said anti-Mursi protester Ahmed.

On Friday, tens of thousands of people marched across the country in what Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood movement called a "Friday of Rage" to demonstrate against his overthrow and the army-backed interim government being set up to prepare for new elections.