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Egypt's Bruised Brotherhood Fails To Show Street Power

posted 23 Aug 2013, 07:07 by Mpelembe   [ updated 23 Aug 2013, 07:07 ]

A small number of demonstrators demanding the reinstatement of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi march in Cairo for "Friday of Martyrs" protest.

CAIROEGYPT (AUGUST 23, 2013) (REUTERS) -  Mass protests called by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood mostly failed to materialise on Friday (August 23) as the movement reeled from a bloody army crackdown on followers of ousted President Mohamed Mursi.

Shouting "Freedom" and 'We'll continue with the revolution', protesters gathered on the streets of Cairo.

Shouting slogans and waving placards that read "Yes to legitimacy, no to the coup", they voiced their concerns about the current political crisis gripping Egypt.

Troops and police had taken relatively low-key security measures before the "Friday of Martyrs" processions that were to have begun from 28 mosques in the capital after weekly prayers.

But midday prayers were cancelled at some mosques and there were few signs of major demonstrations unfolding in Cairo.

The protests were being held in several parts of the Egyptian capital including the areas of Giza and Zaytouna.

People protesting in Giza made the 'Rabaa' sign with their hands, showing their solidarity with those who were killed last Saturday in a fierce gun battle at theRabaa al-Adawiya mosque where pro-Mursi supporters had staged a sit-in.

One protester protesting in Giza said the revolution will continue as long as thearmy continues to control the people.

''When a nation is ruled by tanks, iron and fire, this is something that we can't accept. If the military council continues to control the country, this control will not continue for long, but this revolution will continue, and the revolutionary waves will continue,'' he said.

Egypt has endured the bloodiest civil unrest in its modern history since Aug. 14 when police destroyed protest camps set up by Mursi's supporters in Cairo to demand the reinstatement of the Islamist president, who was deposed by the armyon July 3 after huge demonstrations against his first year's rule.

Another protester on Friday urged minister not to repeat the deadly events of the previous week.

''I've come here today to tell al Sisi supporters: Enough, enough blood, you are cheapening our freedom Sisi. Oh Interior Minister, I beg you, oh Egyptian ministers who are present here in Egypt, enough blood, please. We're a nation that wants to live with freedom,'' said Mohamed Ragab.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which won five successive votes held in Egypt after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, is suffering from a week of bloodshed and the arrest of many of its leaders in what the authorities call a battle with terrorism.

In a symbolic victory for the army-dominated old order, Hosni Mubarak, the ex-military former president who ruled Egypt with an iron fist for 30 years before a popular uprising toppled him in 2011, was freed from jail on Thursday.

His successor Mursi, Egypt's first freely elected president, remains behind bars.