Deadly clashes in Egypt as Morsi held on murder suspicion

Updated 12 August 2013
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Deadly clashes in Egypt as Morsi held on murder suspicion

CAIRO: Egypt Friday formally detained Muhammad Mursi for allegedly abetting Palestinian militants in murdering policemen and staging prison breaks, as clashes between the deposed leader’s supporters and opponents killed two people.
Mursi’s detention, under a court order for a renewable 15 days, further raised tensions as those applauding the decision and those demanding the Islamist leader’s reinstatement flooded parts of Cairo and other cities.
Two people were killed in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria in clashes between the rivals protesters, despite a massive police and military deployment to secure the rallies.
The Arab world’s most populous country has been convulsed by violence for the past three weeks, with some 200 people killed since Mursi’s ouster by the army on July 3, many in clashes between his Islamist supporters and his opponents.
At least 19 people were wounded in the Alexandria violence, in which riot police intervened. Ten people were wounded in clashes in Cairo, medical officials and the health ministry said.
The overwhelming number of Friday’s marches have remained peaceful, with thousands of Mursi’s supporters gathering in a north Cairo square before setting off through the streets.
At Cairo’s Tahrir Square, tens of thousands of anti-Mursi supporters gathered in response to a call by the army chief General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Egyptians to show their support for a security clampdown on “terrorism.”
The protesters waved Egyptian flags and held up posters of Sisi, who served as Mursi’s defense minister before ousting him.
A leader of Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood, Essam Al-Erian, said in a statement Islamists would respond to the detention of their leader with “peaceful marches.”
The Brotherhood however reacted angrily to his detention order, saying it smacked of tactics used by the regime of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s long-time strongman toppled in a popular uprising in 2011.
The accusations against Mursi include conspiring with Palestinian Hamas militants in attacks that killed policemen and prison breaks during the revolt against Mubarak, in which Mursi escaped along with other political inmates.
Mursi had been detained with other Muslim Brotherhood leaders overnight on January 27, 2011, hours after the Islamist group said it would join the revolt against Mubarak.
He is also accused of “premeditated murder of some prisoners, officers and soldiers, and kidnapping officers and soldiers,,” the state news agency MENA said.
Mursi is also suspected of conspiring to “storm prisons and destroy them... allowing prisoners to escape, including himself.”
Detention orders of the type ordered by the court are usually followed by moving the suspect to a prison. The military has so far kept his whereabouts secret to avoid attracting protests by his supporters.
Gehad El-Haddad, a Brotherhood spokesman, denounced the detention order, saying Mubarak’s regime was “signalling ‘we’re back in full force’.”
A court had on June 23 said Hamas militants facilitated the escape of prisoners during the tumultuous 18-day uprising that forced out Mubarak.
Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood which supports the Gaza militant group’s fight against Israel, also denounced Mursi’s detention.
“Hamas condemns this move since it is based on the premise that the Hamas movement is hostile,” spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP.


US wants to see a Yemen that is unified, stable and prosperous: ambassador

Updated 17 min 53 sec ago
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US wants to see a Yemen that is unified, stable and prosperous: ambassador

  • “We are making every effort to end the conflict in Yemen,” Tueller told a press conference in Aden
  • The ceasefire deal laid out the de-escalation of conflict in Hodeidah as an important first step for sustainable peace in Yemen

DUBAI: US Ambassador to Yemen Matthew H. Tueller on Tuesday said Washington was concerned about the situation in Yemen even as he reiterated the US’s continued support of the Yemeni government.
“We are making every effort to end the conflict in Yemen,” Tueller told a press conference in Aden, emphasizing Washington’s interest on Yemen’s unity and stability.
Tueller also expressed frustration by the delays and stalling by the Iran-backed Houthis in implementing the ceasefire agreement signed in Stockholm in December.
The ceasefire deal laid out the de-escalation of conflict in Hodeidah as an important first step for sustainable peace in Yemen.
“Some Yemeni groups are threatening neighboring countries with heavy weapons,” the American ambassador said, and he called for the adherence to international resolutions by banning the supply of weapons into the country.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on a regional tour to push for a greater role for the Middle East Strategic Alliance, a US-sponsored Arab NATO-style bloc aimed at uniting Washington’s Arab allies against Tehran.