Wednesday, July 30, 2014


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Rival Egyptian Protesters Rally Amid Fears Of Further Unrest

Supporters (background) and opponents of Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi clash in the coastal city of Alexandria on June 28.
Supporters (background) and opponents of Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi clash in the coastal city of Alexandria on June 28.
By RFE/RL
Thousands of supporters and opponents of Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi are holding rival demonstrations across the country ahead of planned opposition protests on June 30.

Morsi supporters rallied around a mosque in Cairo on June 28. Opposition activists, meanwhile, assembled across the city in Tahrir Square and in other parts of the capital.

State media reported one person was killed and more than 70 injured in clashes in Egypt's second city of Alexandria on June 28.

Reports said opposition protesters broke into the headquarters of Morsi's ruling Muslim Brotherhood in Alexandria and set fires.

There are also reports that a U.S. citizen, described as a young man, was killed during the violence in Alexandria.

A U.S. Embassy official was quoted by Reuters as saying, "The U.S. Embassy has heard of the reports of the death of an American citizen and is seeking to confirm them."

Clashes between Morsi supporters and opponents over the past few days have left several people dead.

The violence comes ahead of a planned mass opposition rally to call for Morsi's removal on the first anniversary of his inauguration.

Each side has blamed the other for the violence.

Fears Of Strife

In Cairo, Morsi's supporters remained adamant.

"The majority of the Egyptian people support President Morsi and when they voted for him, they voted for a four-year program. So, today, if they're talking about ousting President Morsi, this means they're ousting the democratic process as a whole," said Amani Abdel Aziz, explaining why she joined a pro-Morsi rally.

"In six months' time, maybe another president will be elected and they won't approve of him either, we'll oust him, elect a third [president], and thus we'll go in circles. The issue now isn't just about President Morsi; it's about the democratic foundation that Morsi is trying to cement and we are here to say that we support you, Mr. President."

Meanwhile, Egypt's leading clerics have warned of a "civil war" as rival protests continue.

Clerics of the Al-Azhar institute called for vigilance "to ensure we do not slide into civil war."

With reporting by Reuters, AFP, AP, and BBC

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