Egyptian interim president pleads for reconciliation
Pro-government and army supporters detain a supporter (C) of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi during clashes that erupted in Tahrir Square (AFP/FAYEZ NURELDINE)
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Egypt’s interim president Adly Mansour on Monday called for reconciliation among Egyptians as rival factions clashed in central Cairo, killing at least four people.
President Mansour said he seeks to open a “new page in the nation’s history” following the June 30 uprising that ousted Islamist president Mohammad Mursi.
His call came hours after clashes between supporters and opponents of Mursi killed four people.
At least 26 people were also injured as the rival camps exchanged volleys of stones and birdshot, emergency services said, according to AFP.
Police fired teargas to break up the crowds and Mursi’s foes said the security forces were clearly on their side.
“The police are with us. Those fascists attacked us again. May God punish them,” said Samir Hafiz, 22, with cuts on his hands and face, hurling rocks at the pro-Mursi activists from behind the police line.
Witnesses said hundreds of young men clashed as backers of Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement appeared to try to march on Tahrir Square, the epicenter of mass demonstrations which led Egypt’s army to oust the elected Islamist leader on July 3.
“They fired on us with birdshot and pistols. They tried to overrun the square.” said Tarik Sabir, 41, an employee in a petrol company, who was wounded in the thigh by birdshot.
As dusk fell, the clashes faded and Mursi’s opponents returned to their sit-in at Tahrir, blowing whistles triumphantly and chanting “We saved the square!”
Tahrir Square has been a focal point for demonstrations since mass protests there led to the downfall of U.S.-backed strongman Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.
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