World

Egypt On Edge: Friday Protests Turn Deadly

NPR | July 5, 2013 7:14 p.m. | Updated: July 6, 2013 2:59 a.m.

Contributed By:

Mark Memmott

In Cairo, supporters of former President Mohammed Morsi were gathering early on Friday.

In Cairo, supporters of former President Mohammed Morsi were gathering early on Friday.

EPA /LANDOV, Hassim Dabi

Ousted President Mohammed Morsi’s supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood are calling for mass protests in Egypt, where it’s feared there will be clashes between them and soldiers in the streets of Cairo and other cities on Friday.

As The Associated Press writes, “some former militant extremists have vowed to fight.” NPR’s Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, who is in Cairo, tells our Newscast Desk that they plan to march through the city’s streets in a “day of rage” to protest both the removal of the president and the arrest of key Brotherhood leaders, including the group’s revered Supreme Guide. Authorities accuse them of inciting violence in the days leading up to Morsi’s removal.

Al-Jazeera adds that “crowds are expected to swell further after Friday afternoon prayers” in the Muslim nation. “Meanwhile, Egypt’s military has appealed for conciliation and warned against unrest, as police rounded up senior Islamists ahead of the planned Brotherhood protests on Friday.”

The Guardian, which is among the news outlets live blogging events in Egypt, says “there is a heavy army presence at the scene of a planned pro-Morsi rally.”

The army, as the BBC says, has pledged to allow “peaceful protests.” Muslim Brotherhood leaders have said their followers will not resort to violence, but have also warned that things could quickly get out of control.

We’ll keep an eye on the news from Egypt and update as warranted.

Meanwhile, related stories include:

— “In His Final Days, Morsi Was Isolated But Defiant.” The AP looks at events leading up to Wednesday’s move by the military to remove the democratically elected Morsi from office and replace him with interim leader Adly Mansour. The AP’s report begins with this dramatic scene:

“The army chief came to President Mohammed Morsi with a simple demand: Step down on your own and don’t resist a military ultimatum or the demands of the giant crowds in the streets of Egypt. ‘Over my dead body!’ Morsi replied to Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday, two days before the army eventually ousted the Islamist leader after a year in office.

“In the end, Egypt’s first freely elected president found himself isolated, with allies abandoning him and no one in the army or police willing to support him.”

— “For Islamists, Dire Lessons On Politics And Power.” The New York Times writes that “from Benghazi to Abu Dhabi, Islamists are drawing lessons from Mr. Morsi’s ouster that could shape political Islam for a generation. For some, it demonstrated the futility of democracy in a world dominated by Western powers and their client states. But others, acknowledging that the coup accompanied a broad popular backlash, also faulted the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood for reaching too fast for so many levers of power.”

— “Economic Instability To Cause Further Problems In Egypt.” Morning Edition host Renee Montagne talked with Farah Halime, an economic journalist and blogger based in Cairo about the prospects for Egypt’s economy now that Morsi has been ousted.

— “Who’s Who In The Egyptian Crisis.” The Parallels blog offers a guide to the key players.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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