CAIRO - Egypt counted its dead on Saturday after Islamists
enraged by the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi took to the streets in an
explosion of violence against what they denounced as a military coup.
least 30 people died and more than 1,000 were wounded after Morsi's Muslim
Brotherhood movement called "Friday of Rejection" protests across the country
and tried to march on the military compound where the ousted president is
The most deadly clashes
were in the Mediterranean city of
Alexandria, where 14 people died and 200 were wounded. In central Cairo, pro-
and anti-Morsi protesters fought pitched battles late into the night with
stones, knives, petrol bombs and clubs as armored personnel carriers rumbled
It took hours to restore calm. The Nile River bridges around
the landmark Egyptian Museum where the street fights raged were still covered
with the debris of rocks and shattered glass on Saturday morning. Both pro- and
anti-Morsi activists remained encamped in different squares in the
The Health Ministry said 30 people were killed throughout Egypt
on Friday, and 1,138 injured, state media reported.
newspapers said the army-backed authorities that took power on Wednesday and
suspended the constitution, would announce the appointment of a prime minister
on Saturday to run the country during a transition period.
nuclear agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei, 71, a leading liberal politician, was
seen as the most likely candidate to lead an administration focused on reviving
a shattered economy and restoring civil peace and security.
interview with Reuters, the country's main leftist leader, Hamdeen Sabahi,
endorsed ElBaradei for the tough job, saying the transition should be short to
amend the constitution and elect a new president and parliament..
military has given few details and no timeframe for a new ballot - adding to
political uncertainty at a time when many Egyptians fear violence could polarize
society even further.
Egypt's first freely elected president was toppled
after mass demonstrations against Muslim Brotherhood rule, the latest twist in a
tumultuous two years since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in the Arab Spring
uprisings that swept the region in 2011.SINAI VIOLENCE Five police
officers were gunned
down in separate incidents in the North Sinai town of El
Arish, and while it was not clear whether the attacks were linked to Morsi's
ouster, hardline Islamists there have warned they would fight back.
more attacks on army checkpoints in the lawless Sinai peninsula overnight and
gunmen fired on central security building in the town of El-Arish, security
A new Islamist group announced its formation in the lawless
Sinai peninsula adjoining Israel and the Gaza Strip, calling the army's ousting
of Morsi a declaration of war on their faith and threatening violence to impose
The group, calling itself Ansar al-Shariah in Egypt, said it
would gather arms and start training its members, in a statement posted on an
online forum for militants in the country's Sinai region recorded by SITE
The events of the last week have aroused concern among
Egypt's allies in the West, including key donors the United States and the
European Union, and in Israel, with which Egypt has had a US-backed peace
treaty since 1979.
Egyptian newspapers quoted ElBaradei as saying he
expected Gulf Arab monarchies that were hostile to the Brotherhood's rule to
pile in with financial support for the new authorities.
Qatar provided substantial funds to Morsi's government with a total of $7
billion in loans and grants. Turkey and Libya also provided smaller loans and
Mursi's overthrow was greeted with wild scenes of celebration
but infuriated supporters who fear a return to the suppression of Islamists they
endured under military rule.
It has deepened Egypt's crisis. The
Brotherhood has spurned army invitations to join an inclusive transition plan,
culminating in fresh elections, saying it will not recognise the "usurper
Early on Friday, three protesters were shot
dead outside the Republican Guard barracks where deposed Mursi is being held,
security sources said.
The army denied responsibility for the shootings.
An army spokesman said troops did not open fire on the demonstrators and
soldiers used blank rounds and teargas to control the crowd.
unclear whether other security forces were present.
Later, tens of
thousands of cheering Islamists gathered near a mosque in a Cairo suburb where
they were addressed by Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie, free to address them
despite reports on Thursday that he had been arrested.
Badie, like some
other leaders, pledge that it was worth "our lives" to restore Morsi to the
presidency. But Brotherhood officials have also insisted they will not resort to
After dark, running battles broke out in the area between
Tahrir Square, scene of the demonstrations that toppled Mubarak, and the state
broadcasting headquarters. Reuters journalists saw hundreds of youths from
either side skirmish around the highway ramps of a major bridge over the
The violence will ring alarm bells in the United States. Washington
has so far avoided referring to the army's removal of Morsi as a "coup", a word
that under US law would require a halt to its $1.5 billion in annual
But many Egyptians see the army as a guarantor of stability at a
dangerous time for the world's most populous Arab nation.
will need to issue a curfew. Maybe the trouble will last a few days," said Said
Asr, 41, sitting with friends outside a Cairo cafe smoking a cigarette. "But the
army is everything in this country. And they are taking control."
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