Cairo: Police Use Tear Gas on Morsi Supporters
At least 22 people were injured on Monday night, as clashes erupted in Cairo's downtown between police forces and hundreds of supporters of deposed president Mohammed Morsi, who have been demanding the reinstatement of the former elected president.
Eyewitnesses told the website of the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram that violence broke out after police forces fired tear gas at pro-Morsi protesters to clear the Six of October Bridge which they had blocked.
According to Al-Ahram, Morsi's proponents blocked both ways of the bridge by parking trucks in the lanes, bringing traffic to a complete halt. Protesters also built a wall on top of the bridge in what seemed an attempt to permanently block it.
Morsi's supporters hurled stones at the police after officers fired teargas canisters. A number of downtown residents and opponents of the Brotherhood joined the police against the pro-Morsi supporters, reported Al-Ahram.
Egypt's interior ministry said that it "had to use" teargas to disperse a pro-Morsi protest in downtown Cairo's Ramsis Square, on the grounds that protesters blocked traffic in the area and allegedly threw rocks at passing cars.
The ministry said that police forces warned Morsi supporters "against disrupting public order," asserting that they only moved to disperse the crowd after protesters persisted despite the warning.
Protests and clashes have been a regular occurrence in Egypt since the military ousted Morsi earlier this month after days of protests calling on him to go. In one of the deadliest incidents last week, 51 people died and 435 were injured in clashes between the Egyptian army and pro-Morsi protesters at the Republican Guard headquarters.
Following the deadly clashes, the Muslim Brotherhood called for an “uprising” in Egypt.
Egypt’s public prosecutor on Sunday ordered the freezing of assets belonging to 14 top Islamists.
The asset freeze is part of an investigation ordered by public prosecutor Hisham Barakat which affects nine Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including the group’s general guide Mohamed Badie, and five Islamists from other groups including ex-militant faction Gamaa Islamiya.
The order came a day after prosecutors received criminal complaints against Morsi, Badie and other senior Islamists, with a view to launching a formal investigation.
The complaints include spying, incitement to violence and damaging the economy, although the prosecutor’s office did not say who made the allegations.