Morsi supporters clash with security forces


Egyptian supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and of Egypt’s ousted President
Mohamed Morsi block on Tuesday the Six October Bridge in the center of Cairo. AFP PHOTO

CAIRO: Hundreds of Islamists loyal to deposed president Mohamed Morsi clashed on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) with security forces, leaving 22 people wounded, hours after a United States (US) envoy urged Egypt’s army-backed leaders to end violence.

Nineteen people were hurt in clashes in the central Ramses area near Tahrir Square and on the main bridges over the Nile, while another three people were injured in adjacent Giza.

US envoy Bill Burns urged the army to avoid “politically motivated arrests” amid growing international unease at the crackdown on Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.

He was speaking after talks with the new leadership, including the army-appointed interim premier Hazem al-Beblawi, who is expected to announce a new cabinet on Tuesday or Wednesday.

But the Brotherhood has refused to take any role in the new government and its supporters are still out on the street calling for Morsi’s reinstatement.

Hundreds of demonstrators cut off the October 6 bridge across the Nile in the heart of Cairo.

Security forces fired tear gas to drive them back. The protesters responded by hurling rocks at the security forces, who responded with fresh volleys of tear gas.

The clashes were the first in the Egyptian capital since dozens of pro-Morsi demonstrators were shot dead outside an elite military headquarters last week.

Burns’ visit is the first to Egypt by a senior US official since the military toppled Morsi in a popularly backed coup on July 3.

Egypt’s new leaders are pushing ahead with a transition plan for an interim government and fresh elections, despite the continuing protests by Morsi supporters.



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