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Egyptian Government Takes Off the Gloves

The Egyptian government announces that it plans to act decisively against protesting "terrorists".
By Dalit Halevi & Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/1/2013, 1:15 AM

Egypt unrest (file)
Egypt unrest (file)
Flash 90

Egypt is taking off the gloves when it comes to handling the Muslim Brotherhood’s ongoing protests.

The country’s Minister of Information, Durriyah Sharaf Al Din, announced in a statement to the press on Wednesday that the Egyptian government has decided to act decisively against “terrorism” by rioters who threaten Egypt’s national security and do not receive support of citizens.

Sharaf Al Din noted that acts of violence are unacceptable, and given the public support for the struggle waged by the government against terrorism and violence, the government has decided to take steps to put an end to the anarchy.

Mohamed Ibrahim, the Interior Minister in President Adly Mansour’s interim government, was given the authority to take all necessary measures in accordance with the law.

The meaning of the statement by the Minister of Information is that the government of Egypt is planning to start dealing harshly with the Muslim Brotherhood and disperse the demonstrators on its behalf in Cairo, in order to allow political stability and begin work on the new constitution, thus preparing the ground for new elections for the parliament and the presidency.

Egypt’s National Defense Council warned supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi this week that security forces would take “decisive and firm” action if protesters overstepped their rights.

The statement comes after 72 Morsi supporters were killed in violence at the Rabaa al-Adawiya protest site in Cairo early on Saturday.

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.”

The Muslim Brotherhood claimed over the weekend that about 120 of its people were killed in what the movement described as a “massacre” in “an attempt to complete the coup.”