Violence returns to streets of Cairo
At least 7 dead and more than 260 wounded after Egyptian police and protesters clash
Supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi run from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes on the Sixth of October Bridge over the Ramsis square area in central Cairo. Photograph: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters
Egyptian police and protesters clashed in central Cairo early today after fights broke out between supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi and locals angered when they tried to block major thoroughfares crossing the River Nile. Photograph: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters
Supporters of deposed Egyptian president Morsi clash with riot police on the Sixth of October Bridge over the Ramsis square area in central Cairo. Photograph: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters
A spokesman for Egypt’s interim president said today authorities expected Islamist movements to join in national reconciliation, including the Muslim Brotherhood whose leader Mohamed Morsi was toppled as president by the army on July 3.
“We expect most Islamic currents to participate in reconciliation ... including the Muslim Brotherhood,” Ahmed Elmoslmany told reporters in Cairo.
He said the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamist Nour Party had both been offered cabinet posts. Both groups have refused to participate in the government, although Nour has said it will advise interim prime minister Hazem el-Beblawi.
Seven people died and more than 260 were wounded when Egyptian police and protesters clashed in central Cairo early today after fights broke out between supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and locals angered when they tried to block major thoroughfares crossing the River Nile.
Egyptian authorities arrested 401 people over the fighting overnight, nearly two weeks after the army removed Mr Morsi in response to mass demonstrations against him.
Two people were killed at a bridge in central Cairo where police and local Mursi opponents clashed with some of his supporters who were blocking a route across the River Nile overnight. Another five were killed in the
Cairo district of Giza, said the head of emergency services, Mohamed Sultan.
Young men, their mouths covered to protect them from tear gas, threw stones at police and shouted pro-Morsi and anti-military slogans, as well as “Allahu Akbar!” (God is greatest).
Military helicopters hovered overhead and police vans were brought in to quell the trouble, but when that didn’t work, dozens of riot police moved in. Medics treated men with deep gashes to their eyes and faces nearby.
The military said it deposed Mr Morsi to fulfil the wish of the people. Mr Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement said it was a coup.
US deputy secretary of state William Burns told reporters in Cairo that Washington had no desire to meddle in Egypt, which it supports with $1.5 billion in aid each year, most of which goes to the military.
“Only Egyptians can determine their future,” Mr Burns told reporters at the US embassy. “I did not come with American solutions. Nor did I come to lecture anyone. We will not try to impose our model on Egypt.”
Washington, never comfortable with the rise of the Islamist Brotherhood, has so far refused to say whether it views Mr Morsi’s removal as a coup, which would require it to end aid to the country.
The Islamist Nour Party and the Tamarud anti-Morsi protest movement both said they declined invitations to meet Mr Burns.
But a senior State Department official denied Mr Burns had been shunned. “I don’t think we’re losing influence at all,” the US official said, adding that Mr Burns was still in Cairo.
“I don’t know what meetings he has, but he has seen a range of people in Cairo in the interim government, in civil society ... so it’s hard to say he has been spurned by both sides. I don’t accept that is the case.”
Marches in Cairo and beyond
Tens of thousands of Brotherhood supporters gathered late last night at the Rabaa Adawiya mosque in northeastern Cairo, where they have staged a sit-in vigil for the last three weeks vowing to stay until Mr Morsi is reinstated.