Egypt security forces to besiege pro-Morsi sit-ins

Egypt security forces to besiege pro-Morsi sit-ins
Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:35:08

Egyptian security forces are going to besiege two sit-ins by supporters of the country’s ousted president within 24 hours, police officials have said.

One police official suggested action against the sit-in protests by supporters of ousted President Mohammad Morsi could begin as early as daybreak Monday.

Officials, who spoke anonymously in line with regulations, told the Associated Press they are also preparing for possible clashes that might erupt in reaction to the cordons they will set up barring anyone from entering.

Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam Ahmad al-Tayyeb is to launch contacts with political factions Monday and hopes to organize reconciliation talks later this week, state media reported.

“Al-Azhar has been studying all the proposals for reconciliation put forward by political and intellectual figures ... to come up with a compromise formula for all Egyptians,” Tayyeb’s adviser, Mahmoud Azab, told state-owned daily Al-Ahram.

But the Muslim Brotherhood is likely to reject an invitation for dialogue with Tayyeb as he had sat alongside Sisi when the army chief announced the president’s overthrow.

Efforts by the international community to end the standoff and find a peaceful resolution to the crisis failed. Egypt’s prime minister warned just ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday that ended Sunday that the government’s decision to clear the sit-ins was “irreversible.”

Egypt’s new leadership says that the sit-ins and protests have frightened residents of Cairo, sparked deadly violence and disrupted traffic in the capital.

Leaders of the sit-in say their protests have been peaceful and blame security forces and “thugs” for violence.

The Arab world’s most populous country is readying itself for more potential bloodshed. Already more than 250 people have been killed in violence since Morsi’s ouster.

SHI/SHI

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