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Egyptians, both pro and anti-Morsi rally in streets of Cairo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 26th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Thousands of Egyptians have taken to the streets of Cairo in competing rallies. Army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi called for "all honorable Egyptians" to take to the streets to give him a mandate to fight what he called "violence and terrorism." Both the military and the Muslim Brotherhood are attempting to show their strength and popular support.
 

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi have gathered outside the Rabia el-Adawiya Mosque in Cairo's Nasr City, a Brotherhood stronghold. There are reports of clashes with some of the thousands of anti-Morsi protesters that are now in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Demonstrations began as an Egyptian judge ordered the continued detention of ousted President Mohamed Morsi on conspiracy charges.
 
Morsi is being detained for 15 days while officials investigate charges he conspired with the Palestinian militant group Hamas, the official MENA news agency reported. The Islamist leader has been held without charge in secret military detention since July 3, when Morsi was ousted by the Egyptian military.
 
Egyptians remain bitterly divided over the ouster. "We all have to go down to the street today to denounce terrorism and violence and back General Sissi for his call," said one demonstrator among thousands who were headed to Tahrir Square. "Today is the completion of our revolution."
 
Many Islamists view General Sissi's call to protest as a prelude to a violent crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. "General Sissi wants permission from the people, permission for the people to fight each other," one concerned citizen says. "This not going to happen now the Egyptians are aware of everything."

Fueling the dissension, investigators with Egypt's military-backed interim government say they are trying to determine whether Morsi worked with Hamas to help him and dozens of other Islamist leaders escape from prison during the 2011 uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak. Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood says that local residents helped free the prisoners.

The international community is expressing increasing concern about the rising violence, the polarization of Egyptian society and the army's crackdown on Brotherhood leaders.
 
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for restraint on all sides, saying he supports the rights of all Egyptians to hold peaceful protests, adding that the Egyptian military should "end arbitrary arrests and other reported forms of harassment." He said Morsi and other detained members of the Muslim Brotherhood should either be freed or have their cases reviewed.
 
In a timeline, the recent crisis began on February 11, 2011, when then President Hosni Mubarak resigned after weeks of massive protests and clashes. The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party won almost half of Egypt's parliamentary seats in January of last year.

Mohamed Morsi became Egypt's first freely elected president in June of 2012, but enthusiasm for his reign cooled considerably that November after he granted himself sweeping powers, which sparked widespread protests. The military removed him from power on July 3rd. 

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