Friday, June 28, 2013

 

Including U.S.citizen, 4 killed in escalating violence across Egypt.


CAIRO, June 28- At least four people were killed and more than 160 injured Friday in clashes between the supporters and opponents of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, raising the death toll to seven in one week, as the country is set to witness another mass anti-Morsi protest on June 30.

A U.S. citizen was stabbed to death during clashes between anti- and pro-Morsi protesters in Egypt's northern city of Alexandria, Yahya Moussa, spokesman of Health Ministry,told press,bring the death toll in the city on Friday to two.


He said that the young American was using a mobile phone camera near an office of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood (MB) when he was attacked by protesters.

The U.S. embassy in Cairo said it was still trying to confirm the news.

The embassy also announced earlier Friday that it will suspend its services on Sunday and Monday our of fear of clashes in nearby areas.

Another one people was killed and five were wounded in a gas cylinder explosion among protesters in a Suez city of Port Said.

Also, one people died Friday in Delta city of Mansoura who was deadly injured in bloody clashes there on Wednesday.

PROTESTS ESCALATE

In Cairo, tens of thousands of Islamists flocked Friday to Rabaa al-Adawweya Square in Nasr City for a rally in support of the legitimacy of President Morsi.

The rally was staged by over 30 Islamist parties ahead of the opposition's planned anti-Morsi protests on Sunday, the first anniversary of the Islamist-oriented president's rule.

Vowing that they will not allow any "coup against legitimacy," members of MB's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), al-Jamaa al- Islamiya's Construction and Development Party, and Salafist Wattan Party spearheaded the Friday gathering.

"Raise your voice, don't fear, no rule for a liberal," "Egypt is Islamist," shouted the demonstrators.

Meantime, more than 10,000 liberal protesters headed by Tamarrud Campaign, which announced that it has collected more than 15 million anti-president signatures, as well as Popular Current, April 6 Movement and others, flocked to the Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, urging Morsi to leave office.

Hundreds of protesters blocked the traffic near the iconic square while a number of protesters set up tents, saying they will start a sit-in until June 30.

Scores of protesters also gathered outside presidential palace raising "red cards" and shouted slogans demanding Morsi to step down. A number of protesters climbed the wall of the palace and hanged banners against Morsi and the MB, official news agency MENA reported.

In Beheira city, northwest of Cairo, some protesters stormed and set ablaze the building of a MB office, leaving 10 MB members and 20 people injured.

The MB's FJP office in the Delta city of Aga in Daqahliya was also set on fire after a group of protesters attacked it, leaving 32 persons injured. The angry protesters threw Molotov cocktails at the building and attempted to prevent fire engines from reaching the site.

Morsi's opponents accuse him and his group of trying to control all the country's institution without leaving a room for other political forces to share in ruling the major Arab country in the region.

Both the opponent and supports of Morsi went on protests to show their strength and popularity, while observers raised their concerns over violence.

ARMY DEPLOYMENT

Earlier in the day, the official page of the military spokesman on social network Facebook posted a video titled "the Egyptian army, the protector of the nation" and another video showing the deployment of military troops.

Military spokesman Ahmed Mohamed Ali asserted that the army performs its duty in securing the citizens and their properties. " The deployment of military troops nationwide aims at securing the citizens and vital facilities," Ali told MENA.

Military troops have been deployed in the exists and entrance of the capital and military checkpoint was formed in anticipation of rallies planned on Sunday.

On Wednesday, Morsi delivered a speech to mark his first year in office. He admitted having made some mistakes since he was elected in last June, but his words failed to appease his opponents and were described by observers as "defensive."

Egypt's main opposition bloc, the National Salvation Front, said the speech meant that Morsi "doesn't take the opposition seriously," and pressed the embattled president to hold an early presidential election.
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