'Hamas, Hezbollah planned jail break that freed Morsi'

Egyptian court calls to arrest heads of organizations; Al-Ahram: Groups engineered escape of thousands of inmates.

June 23, 2013 14:34
1 minute read.
HAMAS GUNMEN hold a poster depicting Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza City June 2012.

Hamas gunmen hold Morsi poster 370. (photo credit: Mohammed Salem/Reuters)

An Egyptian court on Sunday called on Interpol to arrest the heads of Hamas, Hezbollah, and al-Qaida affiliated organizations in Sinai for their alleged role in planning and executing the prison escape of key Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including Egypt’s current president, Mohammed Morsi.

According to Al-Ahram’s English-language news site, unknown assailants stormed the Wadi El-Natroun prison during the uprising that led to the departure of Hosni Mubarak.

The newspaper reported that 11,000 inmates escaped and 13 died attempting to flee.

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood staged a show of strength in Cairo on Friday, rallying a huge crowd to demonstrate support for Morsi - and warn opponents who hope to force him out.

The opposition called it an attempt to "terrorize" them before mass rallies they plan for just over a week's time.

Crowds waving the flags of Egypt and Islamist movements, including hardline allies, packed avenues around a suburban mosque to back the elected head of state before anti-Morsi protests planned for June 30, when he completes a first year in office marked by division and economic problems.

"We promise them, they will be crushed on this day," Tarek al-Zumar, a Salafist former militant told the crowd, many tens of thousands strong, who had travelled from all over Egypt.

"It will be the final blow to anyone who claims that they have tens, thousands or hundreds of thousands with them," said Zumar, who spent 30 years in jail for his role in killing President Anwar Sadat and was freed only after the next Egyptian leader, Mubarak, fell in 2011.

"God is great!" chanted the crowd, packing streets not far from where Islamists gunned Sadat down at a parade in 1981.

The opposition "Rebel!" alliance, campaigning to force Morsi to resign, said on its Facebook page: "These numbers, regardless of how big they get, represent all the strength and arsenal of the Brotherhood. They will not be able to add a single person."

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