Four Killed As Pro-Morsi Rallies Fail To Reach Tahrir

Protests were held by loyalists of former president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo on Friday afternoon but failed to reach key locations including Tahrir Square and the presidential palace amid stiff opposition from security forces and local residents.

One protester was killed, according to Egypt’s health ministry, in clashes between supporters of Morsi and local residents in Manial in central Cairo.

Deadly clashes erupted later between supporters and opponents of deposed president Mohamed Morsi in Ibn Sandr Square in the suburb of Zeitoun in western Cairo.

A security source told Ahram Online that three people were killed in the Zeitoun violence. According to Al-Ahram Arabic news website another 23 were injured.

Ministry spokesman Mohamed Khatib told Ahram Online that another 17 people were injured in the Manial clashes.

Violence erupted between pro-Morsi protesters and local residents in Manial after security forces fired teargas at a demonstration by Morsi loyalists heading to Tahrir Square, forcing them to retreat to Manial via Qasr Al-Aini Street.

On 6 July, 12 people had been killed in clashes between residents of Manial and supporters of Mohamed Morsi, who was removed from the presidency three days prior by the military amid nationwide protests against him.

Spokesman for the liberal Constitution Party, Khaled Dawoud, was stabbed on Friday afternoon in central Cairo. He told Ahram Arabic that he had been dragged from his car and attacked by protesters in Qasr Al-Aini Street. The Constitution Party posted a statement on its official Facebook page accusing members of the Muslim Brotherhood of the attack.

Dawoud’s condition is described as stable.

On Friday afternoon, thousands of supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi staged demonstrations in Cairo and across the country, continuing to defy a security crackdown targeting the former president’s Muslim Brotherhood organisation.

In one incident, Egyptian military forces fired warning shots and teargas at a few hundred protesters as they attempted to enter Cairo’s Tahrir Square from nearby Abdel-Moneim Riyad Square while chanting against both the police and military, reported state news agency MENA.

Several armed forces vehicles have been deployed at all entrances leading to the square to prevent access by Morsi supporters. Mostafa Mahmoud Square in the Mohandiseen district, another popular protest site, was also blocked off by military forces.

According to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, security forces also attempted to disperse protesters with teargas in Dokki, a district close to Tahrir.

In eastern Cairo, MENA reports, pro-Morsi protesters attempted to march on the defence ministry headquarters but were cut off by security vehicles which blockaded the streets leading to the building.

There was also an attempt by protesters to march towards Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square, the site of a huge pro-Morsi protest camp that was violently dispersed by security forces in August, and the Itihadiya presidential palace, neither of which were successful.

Pro-Morsi demonstrations were also reported in other parts of Egypt including Sharqiya and Gharbiya governorates, and the cities of Alexandria and Suez. Limited clashes were reported in both Sharqiya and Alexandria.

The tone of the protests was anti-military, with chants calling for the downfall of army chief General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

The pro-Morsi National Alliance in Support of Legitimacy has called for intensified protests on Friday and Saturday, and for protests

in Tahrir Square on Sunday, a national holiday in Egypt which marks the 40th anniversary of the 1973 war with Israel.

By 7pm, the time when the nightly curfew was due to start, the Cairo protests had largely dispersed.

Source : Ahram

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