Egypt Headed toward Bloody Monday, Tuesday?
Supporters of Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Morsi have called for protest marches to be held Monday and Tuesday, raising the possibility of further bloodshed, after 72 Morsi supporters were killed Saturday.
Marches toward security buildings are being held on Monday, and a "million-person march" against his ouster to be held on Tuesday.
With tension running extremely high between security forces and the Morsi camp, the marches appear designed to create a bloody clash. At least 72 Morsi supporters were killed in violence at the Rabaa al-Adawiya protest site in Cairo early on Saturday. The Muslim Brotherhood claimed that about 120 of its people were killed in what the movement described as a “massacre” in “an attempt to complete the coup.”
In a statement, the Anti-Coup Alliance of Islamist groups urged Egyptians "to go out into the streets and squares, to regain their freedom and dignity – that are being usurped by the bloody coup – and for the rights of the martyrs assassinated by its bullets."
The Anti-Coup Alliance called for protesters to march to security buildings in provinces across Egypt on Monday night "to condemn the criminal acts and the firing of live ammunition by the interior ministry at peaceful demonstrators", reported Al Jazeera.
The marches are being held in defiance of an army warning issued early Monday. Egypt’s National Defense Council warned Morsi supporters “not to exceed their rights to peaceful, responsible expression of their opinions,” or they would face “decisive and firm decisions and actions in response to any violations.”
The warning from the council, which includes interim President Adly Mansour, army chief General Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the prime minister and interior minister, came in a statement published by state news agency MENA and quoted by AFP.
The council also called on Morsi loyalists gathered at two sites in Cairo to “immediately announce their clear and categorical rejection of violence in all forms, and the immediate cessation of violence, terrorism and the verbal and physical abuse of citizens.”
The protesters accused security forces of using live ammunition against unarmed demonstrators, but the interior ministry said forces had fired only tear gas.
On Sunday, the interim presidency said it was “saddened” by the deaths but described Rabaa al-Adawiya as a “terror-originating spot” and said the bloodshed came in the “context of terrorism,” reported AFP.
Meanwhile, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is in Egypt attempting to mediate between the embattled factions. She was expected to meet interim president Adly Mansour and vice president for international affairs Mohamed ElBaradei, as well as members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Tamarud group that organised protests calling for his removal.