Morsi supporters rally in Cairo to defy coup

Morsi supporters rally in Cairo to defy coup
Fri Jul 12, 2013 20:14:52

Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi gathered in eastern Cairo on Friday to express their anger at the military coup which removed him from power last week.

The coup, which followed mass protests by millions of Egyptians demanding the president's removal, has opened deep fissures in the country.

On one side of the city, Tahrir Square remains the symbolic centre of the revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak and later opposed Morsi.

Across town in an eastern district, Morsi's supporters have coalesced around a major intersection in front of the mosque of Rabaah al-Adawiya.

"The army betrayed the legitimate government, the elections and the will of the people," said Morsi supporter Mahmoud Gamal.

"I want the return of President Morsi."

The Muslim Brotherhood is outraged by the overthrow of Morsi, one of its own, and demands his release from detention and his reinstatement as president.

The Muslim Brotherhood has vowed to continue its effort to restore Morsi to power.

However, it insists its resistance is peaceful - an effort to distance itself from more than a week of clashes with security forces.

Officials say Mursi is still being held at the Republican Guard compound in Cairo, where troops killed 53 Islamist protesters on Monday in violence that intensified anger his allies already felt at the military's decision to oust him.

The unrest has also raised fear over security in the lawless Sinai peninsula bordering Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

Militant groups in North Sinai have promised more attacks and urged Islamists to take up arms, while the army has vowed to step up operations in the region, which is near the Suez Canal, the busy waterway linking Asia and Europe.

One Egyptian policeman was killed and another wounded early on Friday when militants fired rocket-propelled grenades at checkpoints in the Sinai town of El Arish.

NJF/NJF

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