17 Killed in Clashes as Morsi's Supporters Rally in Egypt - The New Indian Express

17 Killed in Clashes as Morsi's Supporters Rally in Egypt

Published: 04th January 2014 08:01 PM

Last Updated: 04th January 2014 08:01 PM

At least 17 people have died and over 60 others injured in clashes between ousted President Mohammed Morsi's supporters and security forces as rallies were staged across Egypt demanding his reinstatement.          

Egypt witnessed violent clashes yesterday between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and the police at a level unparallelled in more than two months.   

The Health Ministry said 17 people were killed in clashes in Cairo and other cities. The violence also left 62 people injured.   

The ministry said 10 deaths were recorded in Cairo yesterday, three in Fayoum, two in Alexandria, and one each in Ismaliya and Minya in upper Egypt. Protesters claimed the figure was much higher.        

The crackdown on Islamists continued with at least 122 Brotherhood members arrested and the Health Ministry said they were armed with explosives, Molotov cocktails, firearms and knives.   

The protests erupted after the pro-Morsi National Coalition in Support of Legitimacy called for demonstrations ahead of the resumption of his trial on Wednesday.           

Morsi, 62, will also stand trial on January 28 over a jailbreak during the 2011 popular uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. A date for Morsi to be tried on espionage charges is yet to be fixed.     

Egypt's military-installed government declared Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood a "terrorist organisation" last month after accusing it of a suicide car bombing at a police headquarters that killed 15 people.           

Interior Ministry officials have warned that anyone taking part in pro-Brotherhood protests will be punished with five years in jail, while protest leaders might face the death penalty.         

Police fired teargas when some 300 pro-Brotherhood protesters blocked off Cairo's corniche road near the High Administrative Court in the suburb of Maadi. Protesters responded by throwing stones.        

Eyewitnesses said protesters in Giza's Faysal district threw Molotov cocktails at an armoured police vehicle, setting it on fire, and shot at police officers trying to escape from the car.            

Violence also flared in Alexandria, where hundreds of Islamists clashed with civilian opponents, using stones and slings. Security forces stepped in to scatter the crowds, arresting several pro-Brotherhood protesters in possession of "rioting tools" and leaflets against the police and army.        

Police fired teargas at a student march at the nearby Al-Azhar University, a major scene of Islamist protests in recent weeks, state-run MENA news agency said.           

Since Morsi's ouster last year, his supporters have staged near-daily protests, particularly after Friday prayers, calling for his reinstatement.     

But their numbers have dwindled amid a violent government crackdown.

More than 1,000 people, mostly Islamists, died in street clashes following his overthrow, and thousands have been imprisoned.      

Morsi's supporters have called for the protests ahead of the upcoming constitutional referendum. Muslim Brotherhood and other pro-Morsi groups reject the new constitution, which was amended after his ouster.

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