Violent clashes between Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters of the anti-government ‘Rebel’ (‘Tamarod’) campaign took place in the coastal city of Alexandria late on Wednesday, leading to the local headquarters of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party being destroyed.
The Rebel campaign is a signature drive launched in May with the intention of “withdrawing confidence” from President Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood, by collecting 15 million citizens’ endorsements before the end of this month.
As campaign members were seeking to collect signatures from pedestrians in the central Raml district, hundreds of Brotherhood members coming from Tawhid Mosque locked horns with the campaigners.
Al-Ahram’s Arabic-language news website reported that, as well as fist fights, both camps exchanged stones. The same report also quoted a local, Mohamed Abdulla, as saying that Brotherhood members “fired live rounds in the air.”
The use of firearms, according to Abdulla, angered the residents of the area and caused them to “completely destroy” the headquarters of the Freedom and Justice Party, which is located in the area.
Al-Ahram reported that thousands of angry residents later gathered around the Tawhid Mosque, where Brotherhood members were hiding.
By contrast, the Arabic-language website of the Freedom and Justice Party said that dozens of Rebel supporters attacked FJP and Muslim Brotherhood members as well as residents, using bladed weapons and birdshot.
Khaled El-Kadi, coordinator of the Rebel campaign in Alexandria, said that six members of the campaign had sustained serious injuries in the clashes and had been hospitalised.
According to Al-Ahram, a large number of security forces arrived at the scene after the clashes and surrounded Tawhid Square, where the mosque is located, while residents chanted: “Down with the rule of the [Brotherhood] Supreme Guide,” and “Mr. Brotherhood wake up, 30 June is the last day.”
The ‘Rebel’ campaign has called for nationwide protests on 30 June to coincide with the end of Morsi’s first year as president.
Most Egyptian opposition parties and groups have endorsed the planned protests, including the main opposition umbrella group, the National Salvation Front, which is led by former presidential hopefuls Mohamed ElBaradei, Hamdeen Sabbahi and Amr Moussa.
Source : Ahram