Muslim Brotherhood urges Mursi supporters to continue demonstrations
A Egyptian man waves national flags as an army helicopter flies over supporters of Egyptian Armed Forces General Ahmed Fattah al-Sisi rallying at Tahrir Square in Cairo (AFP/KHALED DESOUKI)
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The Muslim Brotherhood has announced that nationwide protests in support of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi would continue on Saturday and Sunday, following a day of mass rival demonstrations which turned deadly.
The group said at least 31 people were killed on Saturday when the security forces attacked a protest by supporters of deposed President Mohamed Mursi in Cairo.
The move to continue protesting defies the Egyptian army’s deadline which gives the Muslim Brotherhood until Saturday afternoon to sign up to the country’s military-backed process.
On Friday, hundreds of thousands of pro- and anti-Mursi demonstrators took to the streets of several cities and towns across Egypt.
"They are not shooting to wound, they are shooting to kill," Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad told Reuters news agency, adding that demonstrators had been hit by gunshot in the head and chest.
The Brotherhood said earlier at least 23 had died in the violence.
At least 175 other people had been wounded with gunshot, he added. The toll could not immediately be verified. The casualties had all been taking part in the rally, he added.
Meanwhile, at least seven people were killed when rival demonstrators clashed in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, AFP news agency reported.
Earlier on Saturday, Egyptian authorities announced they will bring pro-Mursi sit-in protests “to an end soon and in a legal manner”, interim Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim was quoted as saying by state-run news website al-Ahram.
Ibrahim said the protests would be cleared in line with complaints filed by residents in the area, according to Reuters.
Supporters of Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood have been manning two main vigils in the capital for a month, demanding Mursi be reinstated after his July 3 overthrow by the army.