Pressure mounts for Morsi release as 13 die in Egypt clashes


Egyptian police stand guard following a grenade attack on the Dahqaliya police station in Mansura, the regional capital of Dahqaliya, on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila). Eight police officers were injured, some seriously, along with a number of civilians in the attack north of Cairo. AFP PHOTO

CAIRO: Pressure was growing on Egypt’s new leaders to release Mohamed Morsi from detention after clashes between supporters and opponents of the deposed Islamist president left 13 people dead.

The clashes broke out on Monday and raged into Tuesday, leaving dozens wounded alongside the fatalities, after Morsi’s family vowed to sue the military over his ouster.

The interior ministry warned on Tuesday it would deal with any lawlessness “firmly and decisively” while urging “everyone of all affiliations to maintain peaceful expressions of opinion” following the latest bloodshed.

Nine people were killed on Tuesday when opponents of Morsi attacked his supporters who staged a sit-in near Cairo University, the health ministry said, raising an earlier toll figure.

Four other people died on Monday, bringing the toll to 13 dead from 24 hours of clashes.

In the Al-Nahda area near the university, at least 16 cars had been torched in the clashes.

Later eight police officers were injured, some seriously, along with a number of civilians in a grenade attack at the Dahqaliya police station in the north, security forces said.

Morsi’s family told a news conference on Monday they would take legal action against the military for having “kidnapped” the elected president after he was deposed in a popularly backed coup on July 3.

Egypt’s new leadership says Morsi is in a “safe” place for his own good.

A spokesman for caretaker president Adly Mansour insisted that “Egypt is not a second Syria and anyone who pushes in that direction is a traitor.”

Calls for Morsi’s release have also been issued by the United States, Germany, the United Nations and the European Union (EU).

“It is now of utmost importance that Egypt embarks on a transition, allowing a transfer of power to a civilian-led and democratically elected government,” EU foreign ministers said on Monday.

They listed demands, including “the release of all political detainees, including Mohamed Morsi”—reiterating remarks EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton made last week in Cairo.



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