- Newly formed Ansar al-Shariah threatened to use violence to impose Sharia law on an increasingly divided Egypt
- Coptic Christian priest shot dead by gunmen in Egypt’s lawless Northern Sinai in sectarian attack
- Khairat el-Shater, considered the most powerful man in the Muslim Brotherhood, arrested late last night
- Death toll following violent clashes that raged late into the night yesterday reported to have risen to 36
- At least 1,079 more people injured amid violence in Cairo, Alexandria and other cities across the country
- Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi being held at Presidential Guard facility just a year after coming to power
- Judge in Egypt’s supreme court, Adly Mansour, sworn in as interim president in Cairo just hours after coup
- Arrest warrants have been issued for 300 members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood party as round-up begins
- Military suspends Islamist-drafted constitution, calls for new elections and said it would install civilian government
- President Obama urges military to hand back control to democratic government, but stops short of calling it a coup
- British foreign secretary says uprising sets a ‘dangerous precedent’ and UK did not support military intervention
- Rapid reaction team of diplomats dispatched to Cairo to prepare for possible evacuation of British nationals
James Rush, Jill Reilly and Jaymi Mccann
01:04, 5 July 2013
13:50, 6 July 2013
A newly formed Islamist group is threatening to use violence to impose Sharia law on Egypt after branding the army’s ousting of the Muslim president a declaration of war on its faith.
Ansar al-Shariah in Egypt said it would gather arms and start training its members, in a statement posted on an online forum for militants in the country’s Sinai region yesterday and recorded by the SITE Monitoring organisation.
The army’s move, which was backed by mass rallies across Egypt, has raised fears Islamists could desert officially-recognised groups like Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and move to more militant movements.
The group’s sinister declaration came as fierce clashes between supporters and opponents of the ousted president overnight left 36 dead and a further 1,079 injured, and a Coptic Christian priest was shot dead by gunmen in a suspected sectarian attack blamed on Islamist insurgents.
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEOS
Aftermath: A grim-faced man mans a makeshift security checkpoint in Cairo’s Tahrir Square following a night of violent clashes between supporters and opponents of ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi
Calm after the storm: Egypt was counting its dead today after fierce clashes raged into the night in cities including the capital, where a burned-out car was seen on the 6th October Bridge this morning
Standing guard: Soldiers are seen standing on an armoured personnel carrier postioned outside Cairo’s state-run television station in Egypt today
Road block: Lines of razor wire were set up across a street in Tahrir Square following a night of violence that left a reported 36 dead across Egypt and more than 1,000 people injured
The most deadly clashes were in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, where 14 people died and 200 were wounded. In central Cairo, pro- and anti-Morsi protesters fought pitched battles late into the night with stones, knives, petrol bombs and clubs as armoured personnel carriers rumbled among them.
It took hours to restore calm.
The Nile River bridges around the landmark Egyptian Museum where the street fights raged were still covered with the debris of rocks and shattered glass this morning.
Morsi was elected president last year after a popular revolution swept away veteran leader Hosni Mubarak.
The army has appointed an interim leader and announced a transition plan which lacks a timeframe for more elections.
It has also arrested senior Muslim Brotherhood members and closed Islamist television stations.
Ansar al-Shariah said in its statement the military overthrow, the
closing of television channels and the death of Islamist protesters all
amounted to ‘a war declared against Islam in Egypt’, SITE reported.
The group blamed the events on secularists, supporters of Mubarak and
Egyptian Coptic Christians, state security forces and army commanders,
who they said would turn the country into ‘a crusader, secular freak’.
It denounced democracy and said it would instead champion Islamic law,
or sharia, acquire weapons and train to allow Muslims to ‘deter the
attackers, preserve the religion and empower the sharia of the Lord’,
In Northern Sinai Coptic Christian priest Mina Aboud Sharween was shot dead today while walking in the Masaeed area in El Arish.
The shooting in the coastal city was one of several attacks believed to have been carried out by Islamist insurgents that included firing at four military checkpoints in the region, the sources said.
Saturday’s attacks on checkpoints took place in al-Mahajer and al-Safaa in Rafah, as well as Sheikh Zuwaid and al-Kharouba.
The violence follows attacks in which five police offers were killed in El Arish on Friday.
Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has fiercely criticised Coptic Pope Tawadros, spiritual leader of Egypt’s eight million Christians, for giving his blessing to the removal of the president and attending the announcement by armed forces commander General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi suspending the constitution.
Cairo’s emblematic Tahrir Square and
nearby approaches to the River Nile were largely empty this morning but left strewn
with debris in the aftermath of last night’s violence. Thousands of Morsi’s Islamist supporters had marched to the
area demanding his reinstatement but ended up fleeing under a hail of
stones, fireworks and sometimes gunfire.
Charred remains: Egyptians drive past a car that was destroyed as Morsi’s supporters clashed with his opponents in Cairo’s emblematic Tahrir Square
Sparks: Dramatic photographs reveal the chaotic scenes across Egypt overnight as supporters and opponents of the ousted president took to the streets
Fervour: Morsi’s backers congregated next to the headquarters of the Republican Guard in the Egyptian capital last night
Rage: Opponents of the ousted president clashed with Muslim Brotherhood supporters near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, overnight
Barriers: Egyptian soldiers face protesters backing President Morsi across a barricade of spiralling razor wire
Tanks: Egyptian Army vehicles rumbled through the streets of Cairo last night, where fierce clashes left at least 30 dead
Egypt’s interim president today held talks with the army chief and interior minister following yesterday’s outburst of violence in the divided nation.
Three days after the military pushed out Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected leader, the country appears to be careening toward further conflict and turmoil.
Morsi’s supporters have vowed to take to the streets until the toppled Islamist leader is reinstated, while his opponents have called for more mass rallies to defend what they call the ‘gains of June 30’, a reference to the start of massive protests to call for the ousting of the president.
With both sides digging in, the country’s acting president, Adly Mansour, met Saturday with army chief and Defence Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi as well as Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, who is in charge of the police, at the Ittihadiya presidential palace.
It was the first time Mansour, a previously little known senior judge, has worked out of the president’s main offices since he was sworn-in Thursday as the country’s interim leader, a day after the military shunted Morsi aside after four days of the street protests that brought millions out into the streets.
Mansour also met today with leaders of Tamrod, or Rebel, the youth movement that organized the mass anti-Morsi demonstrations, according to the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.
Mansour was recently appointed by Morsi as chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, and was only sworn in as the chief justice minutes before he took the oath of office as president.
Enraged at his overthrow by millions
of protesters backed by the country’s powerful military, tens of
thousands of Morsi’s supporters took to the streets yesterday, holding
rallies they declared would continue until the former leader is returned
The chaotic scenes that played out in
the capital, mostly on a bridge leading to Tahrir, ended only after the
army rushed in with armored vehicles to separate the warring groups.
Some of Morsi’s opponents jumped on at least one vehicle to try to show
that the military was on their side.
The deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood was arrested overnight as tens of thousands of Morsi’s supporters marched towards the military barracks
where he is being held by the military that overthrew him.
An Interior Ministry spokesman said Khairat el-Shater, considered the most powerful man in the organisation, had been arrested.
Spokesman Hani Abdel-Latif said
el-Shater and his brother were arrested late last night from an apartment in
eastern Cairo on allegations of inciting violence against protesters in
wealthy businessman, is the deputy of the Brotherhood’s supreme leader,
but has long been considered the group’s most powerful decision-maker.
He was the group’s original candidate for the presidency but was
disqualified for a past prison sentence. Mohammed Morsi ran in his place
and became Egypt’s first freely elected president.
Fury: Thousands of Morsi’s Islamist supporters had flooded the area to demand the ousted president be reinstated
Flames: The capital of Egypt was witness to chaotic scenes over night as supporters of the ousted president took to the streets to demonstrate their anger at the military coup
Violence has continued into the night as supporters or Morsi clash with opponents of the former dictator
Night time clashes raged with stone-throwing, firecrackers and gunfire, and military armored vehicles racing across a Nile River bridge in a counter-assault
Tens of thousands of Islamists streamed across a Nile River bridge toward Cairo’s Tahrir Square
Egyptian soldiers face protesters supporting former President Morsi still gathered near the Republican Guards Headquarter in Cairo
Egyptians photograph the injured leg of a demonstrator this evening after clashes between supporters and opponents of Morsi
People carry two injured persons during clashes between supporters and opponents of ousted Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed
Morsi supporters demonstrated in cities
across the country yesterday with stone-throwing, firecrackers and gunfire on what his Muslim Brotherhood called a ‘Friday of
rage’ against what they describe as a military coup that toppled Egypt’s
first elected leader a year after he took office.
Mayhem nationwide left at least 30
people dead and 210 wounded as Morsi supporters vowed to reverse the
Among the dead were four killed when troops opened fire on a peaceful
march by Islamists on the Republican Guard headquarters.
Violence: The body of a Morsi supporter is seen on the ground after he was shot dead, allegedly by police, during the clashes in Cairo on Friday
Supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi rush to help a man who was shot during a gun battle outside the Cairo headquarters of the Republican Guard
Egyptian opponents of ousted President Morsi surround an armoured vehicle on a bridge leading to Tahrir Square this evening
Opponents of ousted President Morsi holding a poster depicting Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah Al-Sissi
Supporters of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi march in protest of his removal
In a dramatic appearance – his first since Morsi’s ousting – the supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood defiantly vowed the president would return.
Mohammed Badie said: ‘God make Morsi victorious and bring him back to the palace.
MUBARAK TRIAL DRAGS ON AMID FRESH UPHEAVAL
Supporters of former Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak sang and danced around a bronze bust of the ex-ruler as his retrial dragged on today.
Although the televised trial of the 85-year-old appeared unaffected by the latest upheaval in the country he ruled for 30 years, his admirers outside the courthouse were celebrating the fall of Egypt’s first elected president, witnesses said.
The presiding judge adjourned the case on charges of conspiracy to murder hundreds of demonstrators in 2011 until August 17, after the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, to allow the defence more time to review recently presented evidence.
The families of victims who have crowded the
area at all previous hearings were absent.
Presiding judge Mahmoud Kamel el-Rashidi promised to keep broadcasting the proceedings live on state television, even though military sources have said that armed forces commanders were unhappy to see the former head of state and air force chief paraded in a glass and wire courtroom cage.
‘We are his soldiers we defend him with our lives.’
Badie addressed the military, saying it was a matter of honour for it to abide by its pledge of loyalty to the president, in what appeared to be an attempt to pull it away from its leadership that removed Morsi.
‘Your leader is Morsi … Return to the people of Egypt. Your bullets are not to be fired on your sons and your own people.’
After nightfall, moments after Badie’s
speech, a large crowed of Islamists surged across 6th October Bridge
over the Nile towards Tahrir Square, where a giant crowd of Morsi’s
opponents had been massed all day.
Battles broke out there near the
neighboring state TV building with gunfire, stone throwing and a
burning car barricade at an exit ramp.
‘They are firing at us, sons of dogs,
where is the army,’ one Morsi opponent shouted, as another was brought
to medics with his jeans soaked in blood from wounds in his legs.
troops deployed on another Nile bridge leading into Tahrir, sealing it
off with barbed wire and armoured vehicles.
at least seven armoured personnel carriers moved across the bridge,
chasing away the Morsi supporters. Young civilians jumped onto the roofs
of the APCs, shouting insults at the Islamists and chanting, ‘The
people and army are one hand’.
witness said he saw several people fall to the ground, wounded by
shotgun pellets. Security sources said at least three demonstrators were
killed when security forces opened fire.
By today the reported death toll from clashes that raged throughout Friday and into the night had risen to 30.
Thousands of Islamists had also taken to
the streets of Alexandria and Assiut to protest against the army’s
ouster of Morsi and reject a planned interim government backed by their
the Suez city of Ismailia, soldiers fired into the air as Morsi
supporters tried to break into the governor’s office. The Islamists
retreated and there were no casualties, security sources said.
liberal coalition issued an ‘urgent call’ for its supporters to take to
the streets in response to Islamist protests, raising the risk of
clashes between the rival groups.
In Damanhour, capital of the Beheira province in the Nile Delta, 21 people were wounded in violence between the factions.
Nighttime clashes raged with stone-throwing, firecrackers and gunfire, and military armored vehicles raced across a Nile River bridge
A woman prays with supporters of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi during Friday prayers
Violence: Shots were fired during a gathering of supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo after backers of Morsi staged huge protests in the capital and across the country
Egyptian protesters carry the an injured supporter of ousted President Mohamed Morsi after he was shot during the clashes next the headquarters of the Republican Guard, in Cairo
A second spring: Fighting between supporters of Islamist leader Morsi and opponents have raised fears of deadly street violence in Egypt
Injured: BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen was hit’ by a couple of shotgun pellets.’ Her tweeted: ‘Am fine and heading out’
Ehab el-Ghoneimy, manager of the
Damanhour general hospital said three people had been wounded with live
bullets, others were wounded with birdshot, rocks, or had been hit with
Hoda Ghaneya, a leading female figure
in the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) political arm,
said she and two of her sons accompanying her at a Cairo rally after
Friday prayers were ready to sacrifice themselves to the cause.
‘We will die not as a sacrifice for
Morsi, but so the Egyptian people recover their freedom,’ she said near the Rabaa Adaweya mosque in a Cairo suburb that has been
the centre of Islamist protests in the last few days.
A state of emergency has been declared in Suez and South Sinai provinces after gunmen fired rocket-propelled grenades at army checkpoints guarding an airport and attacked a police station.
One soldier was killed and two wounded as Islamist allies of Egypt’s ousted
president, Mohamed Morsi, called on people to retaliate to
express outrage at the coup.
of people were wounded in clashes in Mursi’s Nile Delta home city on
Thursday, raising fears of more of the violence in which several dozen
have died in the past month.
Yesterday’s protests were given the slogan ‘Friday of Rejection’. Outside the Rabaa Adaweya mosque in a
Cairo suburb, where Morsi supporters have gathered over the last week,
the army deployed extra armoured vehicles several hundred metres from
Thousands of people milled around the area, while a group of about 50 men shouted pro-Morsi slogans.
‘Down, down with military rule!’ they chanted. ‘We call for jihad in the whole country.’
the skies above the teeming city, the airforce staged fly-pasts, with
jets leaving red, white and black smoke streams – representing the
Egyptian flag – behind them in a show of force the military has employed
frequently since Morsi’s ouster.
military source said: ‘We will continue to secure the places of protest
with troops, and jets if necessary, to make sure the pro- and
anti-Morsi demonstrators don’t confront each other. We will let them
demonstrate and go where they want.’
Egypt’s military moved swiftly against top Muslim Brotherhood figures, targeting the backbone of support for Morsi.
the most dramatic step, authorities arrested the group’s revered leader
from a seaside villa and flew him by helicopter to detention in the
Egyptian Republican Guards forces stand guard behind barbed wire outside the headquarters of the Republican Guard. At least six have been killed
Fellow protesters place an Egyptian flag on the body of a protester shot dead during clashes in Cairo as supporters for the ousted Islamist leader came out in force
Supporters of the ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi shout protest – security forces shot dead at least three Muslim Brotherhood supporters today
Preparation: Opponents of Egypt’s ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi place barbed wires to secure an entrance to Tahrir Square from a possible attack by Morsi supporters
Aggression: Muslim Brotherhood supporters shout religious and political slogans during a protest near Cairo University
Open fire: A witness said he saw several people fall to the ground, wounded by shotgun pellets. Security sources said at least three demonstrators were killed when security forces opened fire
Chaos: An explosion startles Morsi supporters who momentarily stop throwing stones at police officers nearby, during a protest in Cairo University
Armed: A Morsi supporter stands on guard holding a stick and a home-made shield prepared for clashes with police
As the Egyptian military rounded up top figures of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, protests spread on the streets of Cairo with fatal resutls as police and supporters clashed
A Morsi supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood holds a picture bearing the slogan ‘No alternative for the legitimacy’ during a protest near Cairo University
The other side: Protesters on the opposing side – against former President Mohamed Morsi – perform Friday prayers at Tahrir square in Cairo as violence spread in the other camp
New day: A poster of ousted President Mohamed Morsi is hanged on barbed wire as Republican Guards forces keep watch outside the headquarters of the Republican Guard, in Cairo
Making their mark: Egyptian army helicopters, with the national flag hanging from them, fly over Cairo today. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has called for mass rallies this afternoon to protest the army’s overthrow of Mohamed Morsi
Tension: Egyptian soldiers stand guard on top of an armoured vehicle at the border between Egypt and southern Gaza Strip. A state of emergency has been declared in Suez and South Sinai provinces after gunmen fired rocket-propelled grenades at army checkpoints
Tension: Supporters of the overthrown President Morsi pray – one soldier was killed and two wounded as Islamist allies of Egypt’s ousted president, called on people to retaliate today to express outrage at the coup
Celebrations: An Egyptian protester flashes v signs for military aircraft forming a heart shape trails in the sky over Tahrir Square today
Show: In the skies above the teeming city, the airforce staged fly-pasts, with jets leaving red, white and black smoke streams – representing the Egyptian flag – behind them in a show of force the military has employed frequently since Morsi’s ouster
Revolt: A protester, who supports former Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, chants slogans during a rally near Cairo University after Friday prayers in Cairo
Reporting: BBC’s Jeremy Bowen tweets from the Cairo protests
With a top judge newly sworn in as
interim president to replace Mr Morsi, the crackdown poses an immediate
test to the new army-backed leadership’s promises to guide Egypt to
democracy – how to include the 83-year-old fundamentalist group.
Mubarak and previous authoritarian regimes banned the group and after
his fall, the newly-legalised Brotherhood shot to power in elections,
with veteran member Mr Morsi becoming the country’s first freely-elected
group is reeling under a huge backlash from a public that says the
Brotherhood and its Islamist allies abused their electoral mandate. The
military forced Mr Morsi out on Wednesday after millions of Egyptians
turned out in four days of protests demanding he be removed.
Mansour, head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, with which Mr Morsi
had repeated confrontations, was sworn in as interim president.
In his inaugural speech, broadcast
nationwide, he said the anti-Morsi protests that began June 30 had
‘corrected the path of the glorious revolution of January 25’, referring
to the 2011 uprising that toppled Mubarak.
He also praised the army, police, media and judiciary for standing against the Brotherhood.
He also used his inauguration to hold out an olive branch to the Brotherhood
and promised elections – without indicating when they would be.
Muslim Brotherhood are part of this people and are invited to
participate in building the nation as nobody will be excluded, and if
they respond to the invitation, they will be welcomed,’ said the senior
judge. Promising to safeguard ‘the spirit of the revolution’ that
removed Hosni Mubarak from power in 2011, he said he would ‘put an end
to the idea of worshipping the leader’.
GRAPHIC content. Injuries as Egyptian army shoots dead at least three supporters
In support: Thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members and ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi supporters rally in his support at Raba Al Adaawyia mosque in Cairo
Rally: Social networking sites and mosques are being used to rally support for the democratically elected president who has been put under house arrest
Gathering: Thousands of the democratically elected president’s supporters gather at Raba Al Adaawyia mosque
Celebration: Meanwhile, people continue to dance and cheer in Tahrir Square, following the ousting of Mohammed Morsi
Skyline: A helicopter fly-past over protesters against ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, in Tahrir Square
Furious over what it calls a military
coup against democracy, the Brotherhood said it would not work with the
new leadership. It and harder-line Islamist allies called for a wave of
protests today, dubbing it the ‘Friday of Rage’ and vowing to escalate
if the military did not back down.
There are widespread fears of
Islamist violence in retaliation for Mr Morsi’s removal and already some
former militant extremists have vowed to fight.
Brotherhood officials urged their
followers to keep their protests peaceful. ‘We declare our complete
rejection of the military coup staged against the elected president and
the will of the nation,’ it said in a statement, read by senior cleric
Abdel-Rahman el-Barr to a crowd outside the Rabia al-Adawiya Mosque in
‘We refuse to participate in any activities with the usurping authorities.’
The Rabia al-Adawiya protesters plan to march to the Ministry of Defence today.
The Brotherhood condemned the crackdown, including the shutdown on
Wednesday night of its television channel, Misr25, its newspaper and
three pro-Morsi Islamist TV stations. The military, it said, was
returning Egypt to the practices of ‘the dark, repressive, dictatorial
and corrupt ages’.
A military statement last night
appeared to signal a wider wave of arrests was not in the offing. A
spokesman, Col Ahmed Mohammed Ali, said in a Facebook posting that that
the army and security forces would not take ‘any exceptional or
arbitrary measures’ against any political group.
Presence: The Egyptian Army line up across the road near the Presidential Palace, one day after the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi
Celebration: Egyptian military jets fly in formation over Cairo as the head of Egypt’s constitution court Adli Mansour is sworn in as the interim head of state
Gathering: Egyptian soldiers secure the area around Nasser City, where Muslim Brotherhood supporters have gathered to support ousted president Mohammed Morsi, in Cairo
Many of the Brotherhood’s opponents
want senior figures prosecuted for what they say were crimes committed
during Mr Morsi’s rule, just as Mubarak was prosecuted for protester
deaths during the 2011 uprising. In the past year, dozens were killed in
clashes with Brotherhood supporters and security forces.
But the swift moves raise perceptions of a revenge campaign against the Brotherhood.
The National Salvation Front, the top
opposition political group during Mr Morsi’s presidency and a key
member of the coalition that worked with the military in his removal,
criticised the moves, saying: ‘We totally reject excluding any party,
particularly political Islamic groups.’
The Front has proposed one of its top
leaders, Mohammed ElBaradei, to become prime minister of the interim
cabinet, a post that will hold strong powers since Mr Mansour’s
presidency post is considered symbolic. Mr ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace
laureate who once headed the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency, is
considered Egypt’s top reform advocate.
‘Reconciliation is the name of the
game, including the Muslim Brotherhood. We need to be inclusive,’ Munir
Fakhry Abdel-Nour, a leading member of the group, said. ‘The detentions
are a mistake.’
He said the arrests appeared to be
prompted by security officials’ fears over possible calls for violence
by Brotherhood leaders.
Mr Morsi has been detained in an
unknown location since Wednesday night and at least a dozen of his top
aides and advisers have been under what is described as ‘house arrest’,
though their locations are also unknown.
Besides the Brotherhood’s top leader,
General Guide Mohammed Badie, security officials have also arrested his
predecessor Mahdi Akef and one of his two deputies, Rashad Bayoumi, as
well as Saad el-Katatni, head of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice
Party, and ultra-conservative Salafi figure Hazem Abu Ismail, who has a
considerable street following.
VIDEO: Forces open fire on Cairo crowd killing three, wounding many
On alert: Troops and armoured vehicles were deployed in the streets of Cairo and elsewhere to surround Islamist rallies over fears of a violent reaction to the coup
Time for change: People dance and cheer in Cairo’s Tahrir Square at news that President Morsi has been held under house arrest
Detained: Supreme leader of Egypt’s Muslim
Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie (left) has been arrested over the killing of
eight protesters during the uprising which toppled President Morsi
(right), security officials revealed today
Authorities have also issued a wanted
list for more than 200 Brotherhood members and leaders of other
Islamist groups. Among them was Khairat el-Shater, another deputy of the
general guide who is widely considered the most powerful figure in the
Brotherhood – he was arrested late on Friday.
The arrest of Gen Badie was a
dramatic step, since even Mubarak and his predecessors had been
reluctant to move against the group’s top leader. The ranks of
Brotherhood members across the country swear a strict oath of
unquestioning allegiance to the general guide, vowing to ‘hear and
obey’. It has been decades since any Brotherhood general guide was put
Gen Badie and Mr el-Shater were
widely believed by the opposition to be the real power in Egypt during
Mr Morsi’s tenure. Gen Badie was arrested late on Wednesday from a villa
where he had been staying in the Mediterranean coastal city of Marsa
Matrouh and flown by helicopter to Cairo, security officials said.
ELECTION TO REJECTION: WHY MORSI WAS THROWN OUT AFTER JUST A YEAR… AND WHAT HAPPENS NOW
Why was President Morsi ousted?
When Mohamed Morsi became Egypt’s first freely elected president in June 2012 after the removal of dictator Hosni Mubarak, he promised to lead a government ‘for all Egyptians’.
But critics argue he has failed to deliver during a turbulent year in office which has seen increasing polarisation in the country.
Opponents blame him for allowing Islamists to dominate the political scene by concentrating too much power in the hands of his Muslim Brotherhood movement.
He is also accused of mishandling the economy and going back on his pledge to protect rights and social justice.
His opponents say the mass turnout on the streets over the past few days showed the nation had now truly turned against him.
How did it end?
The protests prompted the military to impose an ultimatum on July 1 ordering him to satisfy the public’s demands for fresh elections or it would impose its own ‘roadmap’ within 48 hours to end the crisis.
But president Morsi showed no signs of backing down, so last night, the military carried out its threat.
He is now being held under house arrest along with 12 of his aides, while warrants are out for 300 of his Brotherhood men.
What happens next?
The Egyptian military is not hanging around in implementing its ‘roadmap’ for the country.
What was unveiled by General
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in full uniform, flanked by politicians, officers and clergy, was a plan to wipe clear a slate of messy democratic reforms enacted since Mubarak fell.
The constitution was suspended and within hours of President Morsi’s downfall, the senior judge in Egypt’s supreme constitutional court, Adly Mansour, pictured, was sworn in as interim president earlier today.
A technocratic interim government will be formed, along with a panel for national reconciliation and the constitution will be reviewed.
As yet there is no timetable for new elections.
Liberal chief negotiator Mohamed ElBaradei, a former U.N. nuclear agency chief, said the plan would ‘continue the revolution’ of 2011.
Many hope they can have more electoral success than last year, when the Brotherhood’s organisation dominated the vote.
What isn’t certain, however, is whether the party will take part or whether they will even want to.
Morsi won 5.7million votes in the
first round of his elections and 13.2million in the second, while the
Brotherhood secured more than 10million in the parliamentary elections.
So they may argue why they should bother being involved in the process if they cannot win by democratic means.
In any case, its own ability to fight back democratically may be limited by the arrests of its leaders.
They face accusations of inciting violence, while Morsi may also face charges after his opponents accused him this week of fomenting ‘civil war’ by defying Sisi’s ultimatum.
Social media continued to function
normally, however, with both the former president’s aides and the
opposition using Twitter and Facebook to provide updates. ‘Egypt remains
online. So far no repeat of 2011,’ said internet monitoring company
Renesys, referring to Mubarak’s censorship two years ago.
The Brotherhood announced it would
boycott the new military-sponsored political process and called on its
supporter to restrain themselves and not use violence.
‘We declare our uncompromising
rejection of the military coup staged against the elected president and
the will of the nation and refuse to participate in any activist with
the usurping authorities,’ said the statement, which the group’s mufti
Abdel-Rahman el-Barr read to the Morsi’s supporters staging a days-long
sit-in in Cairo.
The arrest came as the chief justice
of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court was sworn in as the nation’s
interim president, taking over hours after the military ousted the
Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
Meanwhile, the World Bank hopes to continue its programmes in Egypt following the military ousting of the country’s first democratically elected leader, bank president Jim Yong Kim told reporters during a visit to Chile.
The bank, which Kim said has a $4.7 billion loan programme for Egypt, is still trying to understand the situation in the country, he added.
‘Our hope is that we’ll be able to continue with our programs to provide essential services and essential support,” said Kim, flanked by Chile’s president and finance minister.
We really urge everyone to stay calm and to have a dialogue, and to move as quickly as possible to having real elections,’ he added.
Celebrations took place across Egypt on Wednesday night after the head of Egypt’s armed forces issued a declaration
suspending the constitution and appointing the head of the
constitutional court as interim head of state.
Gehad el-Haddad, a spokesman for the
Muslim Brotherhood party, said Morsi was under house arrest at a
Presidential Guard facility where he had been residing, while 12 of his
aides were also being held.
Earlier, the chief justice Adli
Mansour took the oath of office at the Nile-side Constitutional Court in
a ceremony broadcast live on state television.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed
Kamel Amr said he assured U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a
telephone call on Thursday that the overthrow of President Mohamed Mursi
had not been a military coup.
The definition of what happened in
Egypt yesterday is important because the military overthrow of an
elected leader would generally trigger economic sanctions and could
entail cutting of vital U.S. aid to Egypt.
American side is a strategic partner for Egypt and the welfare of Egypt
is important to them,’ said Amr, a career diplomat who tendered his
resignation to Mursi on Tuesday but who remains in charge of Egypt’s
foreign ministry – at least until a new interim technocratic government
‘I hope that
they read the situation in the right way, that this is not a military
coup in any way. This was actually the overwhelming will of the people.’
Mr Morsi was Egypt’s first
democratically elected president but was overthrown by the military
yesterday after just one year in office.
The military, in a statement read by
army chief General Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi on Wednesday night, also suspended the
Islamist-drafted constitution and called for new elections. Mr Morsi has
denounced the action as a ‘full coup’ by the generals.
Millions of anti-Morsi protesters
around the country erupted in celebrations after the televised
announcement by the army chief.
Fireworks burst over crowds in
Cairo’s Tahrir Square, where men and women danced, shouting, ‘God is
great’ and ‘Long live Egypt.’
But clashes erupted in several provincial
cities when Islamists opened fire on police, with at least 14 people
killed, security officials said.
Fervour: Opponents of ousted President Morsi gather outside the Supreme Constitutional Court where Adly Mansour, the chief of Egypt’s highest court, was sworn in as interim president
Egyptians flash the victory sign and wave Egypt’s flags as an army helicopter flies by, one day after the announcement of a presidential handover
Supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi gathered to protest near Rabaa Adawiya mosque, in Cairo, Egypt, today as Adli Mansour, the chief of Egypt’s highest court, was sworn in as Egypt’s interim president
As protestors cheered the news, Adly Mansour, chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, was sworn in as the interim head of state the day after Morsi was placed under house arrest by the Egyptian military and the Constitution was suspended.
Despite the celebrations and even with an interim leader now in place, Egypt remains on an uncertain course following Mr Morsi’s ousting, and the possibility of further confrontation still looms
Lighting the way ahead: Protesters out in force in Cairo’s Tahrir Square as the country’s armed forces move in to depose Morsi following days of unrest
Fireworks light the sky as opponents of President Mohammed Morsi celebrate in Tahrir Square
Even with an interim leader now in
place, Egypt remains on an uncertain course following Mr Morsi’s
ousting, and the possibility of further confrontation still looms.
Beyond the fears over violence, some
protesters are concerned whether an army-installed administration can
lead to real democracy.
British foreign secretary William Hague
said he had sent a rapid deployment team of diplomats to reinforce the
embassy in Cairo who would be able to give additional support to British
nationals and prepare for any possible evacuation if the situation deteriorated.
Mr Hague said the military coup in Egypt sets a ‘dangerous precedent’ for the country’s future.
Speaking on Radio 4’s Today
programme, he said the British government did not support the deposing
of President Morsi. ‘We don’t support military intervention as a way of
resolving disputes,’ he said.
‘There’s a dangerous precedent to do
that. If one president can be deposed, then so can another in the
future. But it’s happened, so we have to recognise the situation will
OBAMA TREADS CAREFULLY ON EGYPT AS HE FACES PROTESTS HIMSELF
President Barack Obama has found himself in an delicate position over his response to the crisis in Egypt.
a carefully worded statement yesterday, he said he was ‘deeply
concerned’ by the military’s move to topple the government and suspend
He also urged Egypt’s military to hand back control to a democratic, civilian government without delay.
But he stopped short of calling the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi a coup.
classification is an important one as his administration will be forced
to decide whether it must suspend the $1.5 billion a year it provides
to Egypt in military and economic assistance that is considered a
critical U.S. national security priority.
U.S. law, the government must stop foreign aid to any nation whose
elected leader is ousted in a coup d’etat, opening the door to the
possibility of yet more unrest.
to the IPS news agency, U.S. officials are also very concerned about
the possibility of a violent protest against the coup by Morsi’s Muslim
Brotherhood, which remains Egypt’s most organised institution after the
Obama has also
faced a wave of protests himself, with placards claiming the U.S.
president ‘allied himself with terrorists’ and ‘Obama supports
terrorism’ being displayed in Cairo over the last few days.
Egyptians are unhappy at U.S. foreign policy in their country and the
fact Washington supported former dictator Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted
in January 2011 in a similar uprising.
The Obama administration may also now have to fend off further accusations from Republicans at home who argue that the president’s handling of the Arab Spring has been a failure.
‘We have to work with whoever is in
authority in Egypt for the safety of British citizens – there are so
many British companies over there.’
‘We make our views clear. This is a
military intervention but it’s a popular intervention there’s no doubt
about that. We have to recognise there was enormous dissatisfaction with
the government. Stability in the long term comes from democracy.’
It comes as
President Barack Obama urged Egypt’s military to hand back control to a
democratic, civilian government without delay, but stopped short of
calling the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi a coup.
said he was ‘deeply concerned’ by the military’s move to topple Morsi’s
government and suspend Egypt’s constitution.
He said he was ordering
the U.S. government to assess what the military’s actions meant for U.S.
foreign aid to Egypt.
Under U.S. law, the government must
suspend foreign aid to any nation whose elected leader is ousted in a
The U.S. provides $1.5 billion a year to Egypt in military
and economic assistance that is considered a critical U.S. national
‘I now call on the Egyptian military
to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a
democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through
an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests
of President Morsi and his supporters,’ Obama said.
Two U.S. officials have said Egyptian
defence leaders, who ousted the president, have assured the U.S. that
they are not interested in a long-term rule.
official says the leaders, in calls with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel
and General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
pledged to put a civilian government in place quickly.
U.S. officials also say the Egyptian
military has said it will take steps to ensure the safety of Americans
in Egypt, including the diplomatic mission.
this uncertain period, we expect the military to ensure that the rights
of all Egyptian men and women are protected, including the right to
peaceful assembly, due process, and free and fair trials in civilian
courts,’ he said.
people have been killed in clashes between Morsi supporters and security
forces in the northern city of Marsa Matrouh after the president was
ousted by the army, Governor Badr Tantawi has said.
Meanwhile, a statement on the
Egyptian president’s office’s Twitter account has quoted Mohammed Morsi
as calling military measures ‘a full coup’.
it has been reported Egypt’s descent into even deeper political turmoil
will almost certainly put a multi-billion dollar international bailout
on hold and lead to an even more painful economic crisis with worsening
fuel shortages and higher prices on basic goods.
TWO YEARS OF TURMOIL AND TRANSITION: A TIMELINE OF EVENTS FROM MORSI’S ELECTION TO REJECTION
Key events from when the Arab Spring began to the current protests:
Jan. 25-Feb. 11, 2011 – Egyptians stage nationwide demonstrations against the rule of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, who led the country for nearly three decades.
The 18-day ‘revolution,’ launched by secular and leftist youth, draws in a wide spectrum, including the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists. Hundreds of protesters are killed as Mubarak and his allies try to crush the uprising.
Feb. 11 – Mubarak steps down and turns power over to the military. Two days later, the body of top generals, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, dissolves parliament and suspends the constitution, meeting two key demands of protesters.
June 16-17 – Egyptians vote in the presidential runoff between Morsi and Shafiq. The generals issue a ‘constitutional declaration’ giving themselves sweeping authorities and limiting the powers of the next president. Morsi emerges as the victor, with 51.7 percent of the vote.
June 30 – Morsi takes his formal oath of office before the Supreme Constitutional Court, a day after reading a symbolic oath in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, birthplace of the revolution.
Aug. 12 – In a bold move, Morsi orders the retirement of the top Mubarak-era leadership of the military and cancels the military’s last constitutional decree, taking back the powers that the generals gave themselves. The move was seen as way to curb the military’s role in political affairs but it also gave Morsi the power to legislate in the absence of parliament.
Nov. 22 – Morsi unilaterally decrees greater authorities for himself, giving his decisions immunity from judicial review and barring the courts from dissolving the constituent assembly and the upper house of parliament. The move came just ahead of court decisions that could have dissolved the bodies. The move sparks days of protests, with clashes between Morsi’s supporters and opponents. At one point, some 200,000 people rally in Tahrir Square, with some of the first chants for Morsi to ‘leave.’
Dec. 4 – More than 100,000 protesters march on the presidential palace, demanding the cancellation of the referendum and the writing of a new constitution. The next day, Islamists attack a peaceful anti-Morsi sit-in outside the palace, sparking all-out street battles that leave at least 10 dead. Days later, Morsi rescinds his initial decrees, but maintains the date of the referendum.
Jan. 25, 2013 – Hundreds of thousands hold protests in Tahrir Square and nationwide against Morsi on the 2-year anniversary of the start of the revolt against Mubarak, and clashes erupt in many places.
Jan. 26 – Residents of the city of Port Said stage protests, angered by a court ruling convicting and sentencing to death a group of local soccer fans for a 2012 stadium riot. Police crack down hard in Port Said, killing more than 40 protesters, and in outrage the city and others nearby go into near revolt. Much of the anger is focused at Morsi, who praised the police for their crackdown.
Feb.-March – Protests continue in Port Said and other cities for weeks, with dozens more dying in clashes, and some police units around the country go on strike. Brotherhood youth and their opponents fight in the streets outside the group’s main Cairo headquarters.
June 23 – A mob beats to death four Egyptian Shiites in their home in a village on the edge of Cairo. Morsi condemns the attack, but critics blame virulent anti-Shiite rhetoric by his hard-line Islamist allies, fueled by Syria’s civil war. A week earlier, Morsi shared a stage with hard-line clerics at a rally, sitting silently as they denounced Shiites as ‘filthy.’
June 30 — Millions of Egyptians take to the streets in Cairo and other cities calling for Morsi to step down in a massive display of anger and frustration with the Islamist leader. The demonstrations are largely peaceful, although 16 people, half of them in clashes outside the Muslim Brotherhood’s Cairo headquarters, are killed in protest-related violence nationwide. Organisers vow to keep up the protests until Morsi resigns.
July 1 – Demonstrations continue and Egypt’s military issues an ultimatum for the two sides to come to a resolution within 48 hours or it will impose its own solution.#
July 2 – A night of clashes outside Cairo University sees at least 16 people killed, with unofficial sources saying that more than 23 people died.
July 3 – Egyptian media reports that President Morsi will either be sacked or forced to stand down as the army’s deadline for a resolution approaches.
July 3, 6pm – The head of the Egyptian army, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declares on national TV that Morsi has been ousted from power, prompting a wave of celebrations across the country.
July 4 – Judge in Egypt’s supreme court, Adly Mansour, sworn in as interim president in Cairo.
July 5 – ‘Friday of Rage’ protests spark violent clashes that last into the night, leaving a 36 dead and more than 1,000 people injured
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The comments below have been moderated in advance.
What a crazy country. The economy is in ruins, tourism is in ruins, poor education, hunger, many people can’t read or write. Instead of getting this right they riot or the vote for religious madmen, Glad to see they have their priorities right. Mind you if the Muslim Brotherhood come to power again the US will throw them a few billion for the military not to solve hunger, ignorance, want, education but for that under financed and needy organisation, the military. Glad they got that right.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom,
Unless we see Western sanctions against Egypt for this military coup against a democratically elected government, the Arab world will conclude what they always conclude: the West claims it wants democracy for Muslims but only as long as the Muslims vote for whoever the West wants them to vote for.
It always amazes me how religion teaches peace, and the people that follow them do the exact opposite.
Bobsville, United Kingdom,
The people of Egypt have shown very clearly that they do not want a state which is controlled by and for the Moslem Brotherhood. They want freedom of expression and religion and what is wrong with that.
Sudbury_UK, United Kingdom,
To call Morsi democratically elected is irony at it’s best. The muslim brotherhood were illegally financed from abroad and used these funds to buy votes and manipulate the electoral process. The vote last year was very close with apprximately 3 -4% difference betwwen candidates with many people only voting for Morsi tomprevent his adversay being elected and to in their words “give him a chance” these people have been seriously let down and are now amongst the crowds in Tahrir and elsewhere who called for his removal. Rather than manage the country the MB set about consolidating their power and taking over all state institutions including the police and military. If they had been left in power any longer they would have destroyed the country beyond repair and changed the electoral system in their favour so that they could never be removed by democratic means.
“what happened was not a military coup! the move had been driven by the massive popular demonstrations. there is no role, no political role whatsoever, for the military … this is the total opposite of a military coup. egypt’s chief justice will hold power during the transition” so not a military coup!
Here we go again!
Jim the Pensioner
If Morsi had had the people’s interests at heart and not just that of his religion,Egypt would not be in this mess now. It’s not democratic as we understand the word,but they will get there given time.
Ryeford, United Kingdom,
Praying for a miracle. But whose listening.
Here we go again. What is it with these religious fanatics. They can’t live peacefully anywhere!
GloucesterGloucestershire, United Kingdom,
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