Egypt Unrest: Interim President meets army chief, 36 killed in violence

Cairo, Jul 6: Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour today held talks with the army chief and interior minister to discuss ways to ensure security amid violent clashes between supporters and opponents of deposed President Mohammed
egypt unrest interim president meets army chief...
PTI July 06, 2013 21:21 IST
Cairo, Jul 6: Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour today held talks with the army chief and interior minister to discuss ways to ensure security amid violent clashes between supporters and opponents of deposed President Mohammed Morsi that claimed at least 36 lives.





Mansour, who was sworn into office on Thursday, met with army chief and Defence Minister General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi as well as Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, who is in charge of the police, at the Ittihadiya presidential palace. 

He also met with his new aides—constitutional consultant Judge Aly Awad Saleh, political consultant Mustafa Hegazy, and security consultant General Rafaat Shehata. 

According to a presidential source, the meetings focused on ways to secure protests and ensure national security. 

The source said that Adly focused his discussion with constitutional and political aides on a new constitutional declaration that will be announced soon. The declaration will provide details on how the upcoming transitional period will be managed.

Adly will also meet with representatives of different political forces and members of the Rebel movement.  Meanwhile, a tense calm has descended on Egypt following a night of fierce clashes between supporters and opponents of Morsi.

Tens of thousands of angry supporters of 61-year-old ousted president, chanting slogans like “down with military rule”, took to the streets after Friday prayers demanding his reinstatement.

At least 36 people were killed and more than 1,000 wounded in the violence.

In the capital, the protesters holding images of Morsi marched towards the Republican Guards Club, where Morsi is believed to have been put “under guard” since Wednesday night. 

Despite warning from soldiers, the crowd tried to storm the Guards headquarters, prompting the soldiers to open fire - first into the air, then at the demonstrators, killing four demonstrators and wounding dozens, local media reported. 

In running street battles in Cairo, more people were dead, including two at iconic Tahrir Sqaure, and scores of others injured, reports said.

The worst hit was coastal city of Alexandria, the second largest city in Egypt, where street fighting and clashes left 12 people dead, mostly from gunshot wounds. 

Meanwhile, Brotherhood-led National Alliance in Support of Electoral Legitimacy today vowed more protests in support of the deposed president.

“The masses will continue their civilised protests and peaceful sit ins in Cairo until the military coup is reversed and the legitimate president is restored,” it said. 

Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president was toppled by the powerful military on Wednesday and since has been kept under detention along with some senior aides of his Muslim Brotherhood party.

Yesterday's clashes raged across Egypt after Brotherhood supreme leader Mohammed Badie told his followers not to give up street action until the reinstatement of Morsi. 

“We are his soldiers we defend him with our lives,” Badie told supporters at a Cairo mosque in his first appearance since the overthrow of the Morsi government. 

The National Salvation Front (NSF), Egypt's main opposition bloc, also called on people to take to the streets for what he described as the Muslim Brotherhood's plot to “portray the situation as if there is a fight over legitimacy and pave the way for foreign intervention, like that which took place in Libya and Syria”.

In the North Sinai town of El Arish, five police officers were killed. It was, however, not clear whether the attacks were linked to pro-Morsi protests.

Meanwhile, a deputy leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, former presidential candidate Khairat El-Shater, has been arrested.

Security sources said that Shater, a wealthy businessman seen as the movement's main political strategist, was taken into custody on suspicion of incitement to violence.
 
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