Morsi supporters return to protest in Cairo against army takeover

Thousands rally outside Morsi's believed place of detention.

July 7, 2013 19:55
2 minute read.
Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi march in Cario, July 7, 2013.

Egypt protests women July 7, 2013. (photo credit: REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah)

CAIRO - Thousands of supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi protested outside his place of detention in Cairo on Sunday while a military-driven plan to resolve the political crisis remained mired in mistrust and confusion.

Demonstrators at the Republican Guard barracks, where three people were killed on Friday, shouted "Morsi, Morsi, God is greatest!" and "Peaceful, peaceful!" as soldiers and policemen looked on from behind barbed wire.

"We will not leave until Morsi returns. Otherwise we'll die as martyrs," said 55-year-old Hanim Ahmad Ali Al-Sawi, wearing a veil over her face in the searing midday sun. "This was a coup against democracy."

The US Embassy was due to be closed to the public and regular consular services were  to be suspended on Monday, July 8, due to the possibility of protests in vicinity of the Embassy, located in Cairo.

The embassy in Egypt has occasionally been targeted by demonstrators.

The advisory warned US citizens to avoid areas where large gatherings may occur, as crowds continue to increase in the nearby Tahrir Square over the course of Sunday afternoon.

"Even demonstrations or events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence," the advisory warned.

Morsi was toppled on Wednesday in a takeover the military denied was a coup. The army said it stepped in to enforce the will of millions of Egyptians who rallied on June 30 demanding his resignation.

But while Morsi's ouster was met with scenes of jubilation, it angered Islamists who held protests on Friday in which more than 30 people were killed and 1,400 wounded.

The violence across the Arab world's most populous state saw rival factions fighting street battles in central Cairo and many others cities and towns, and underlined the pressing need for a swift and inclusive political solution.

Egypt's allies in the West, including main aid donors the United States and the European Union, and in Israel, with which Egypt has had a US-backed peace treaty since 1979, have looked on with increasing alarm.

The transitional authorities had been set to appoint liberal politician Mohamed ElBaradei, a favorite of young anti-Morsi protest leaders, before his candidacy was thrown into doubt when a hardline Islamist party objected.

The Brotherhood has said it wants nothing to do with the military's plans for a new interim government. It wants Morsi reinstated and has pledged to keep protesting until he is.

The military has shown no sign of moving to dislodge the Islamists and may be hoping that sweltering summer heat and the onset of the Ramadan Muslim fasting month from Tuesday will gradually wear them down.

For many Islamists, the overthrow of Egypt's first freely elected president was a bitter reversal that raised fears of a return to the suppression they endured for decades under autocratic rulers like Hosni Mubarak, himself toppled in the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

The Brotherhood called for more protests on Sunday, although by mid-afternoon they had not matched the numbers who marched two days earlier. Tahrir Square, cradle of the huge anti-Morsi movement, saw only small crowds over the weekend.

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