Egypt’s leading youth group the April 6 Youth Movement condemned on Tuesday both sides of the country’s deepening polarisation following the past days’ violence.
Dozens of people, mostly supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, were killed in clashes pitting Islamists against security forces and opposing civilians on Sunday. It was one of the deadliest days in Egypt since the army overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi amid mass protests in early July.
April 6 – which helped initiate the call for the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak – condemned the “use of force” by police. However, the group also laid blame on Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood for protesting on a national holiday celebrating Egypt’s 1973 war with Israel.
“Morsi’s supporters should have selected another day to protest, instead of a sacred national occasion for all Egyptians,” wrote April 6 co-founder Ahmed Maher.
On 6 October, or ‘Armed Forces Day,’ Egyptians commemorate the day in which Egypt’s army crossed the Suez Canal into Israel-occupied Sinai, eventually regaining control of the vital sea route between Asia and Europe.
Maher noted that April 6 did not participate in Sunday’s celebrations in order to avoid the anticipated “confrontations and bloodbath.”
April 6 is a member of the recently-established Revolution Path Front, or “Revolutionaries,” which opposes both Egypt’s army and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The youth group backed Morsi in the 2012 presidential race, but later joined protests against the Muslim Brotherhood as they watched the group attempt to concentrate power in the hands of Islamists.
April 6 gathered over one million signatures for the petition campaign that galvanised Egyptians to protest against Morsi’s rule, ultimately leading to his removal.
In Tuesday’s statement, Maher decried what he called “escalation and counter-escalation… and violence and counter-violence” on Sunday, as well as the “terrorist” attacks that ensued.
On Monday, attacks by suspected militants left nine people dead across Egypt. Three policemen were killed in a car bomb explosion in southern Sinai, and six soldiers were shot dead by gunmen near the Suez Canal city of Ismailia.
Also on Monday, assailants in Cairo fired rocket-propelled grenades at an uplink telecom facility used to air channels on Egypt’s Nilesat satellite. No causalities were reported.
Source : Ahram