Egypt crisis: at least 29 killed as Muslim Brotherhood clash with ousted Mohammed Morsi's enemies
Egypt faced a descent into chaos as violent clashes broke out across the country leaving 29 dead and dozens more injured.
By Richard Spencer, Magdy Samaan and Robert Tait in Cairo9:08PM BST 05 Jul 2013
Running battles between those supporting the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi and those demanding his reinstatement were most intense in Cairo where tens of thousands took to the streets. The two sides briefly fought for control of the northern entrances to Tahrir Square.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s leader Mohammed Badie addressed a mass rally in the Egyptian capital and called for troops to defy their generals and restore Mr Morsi to power. He is believed to be under arrest.
Mr Badie, who denied reports that he himself had been placed under arrest, said the national leaders who announced the new government on Wednesday night did not represent their followers.
He singled out the Grand Iman of Al-Azhar University and the Pope of the Coptic Christian church, a provocative move in light of the country’s rising sectarian tensions.
“Millions will remain in the squares until we carry our elected president, Mohamed Morsi, on our shoulders,” he told a cheering crowd. “We are his soldiers and we defend him with our lives.” He said he would not be deterred “by threats or detentions, or the gallows”. He urged soldiers to obey their supreme commander – President Morsi – rather than the defence minister, Gen Abdulfattah al-Sisi.
One of the most dramatic incidents of the day took place in front of the Republican Guard headquarters, near the main Brotherhood encampment at Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque. Mr Morsi is thought to have been working there when he was detained, and it has become a focus of Brotherhood protests.
Marchers came up to the barbed wire barriers in defiance of orders not to do so, and were fired on when they repeatedly tried to place a poster of Mr Morsi on them.
Elsewhere, 12 people were killed in clashes in the city of Alexandria.