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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Egypt Orders Brotherhood Chief Held, Morsi ‘Safe’


By Samer al-Atrush, AFP

CAIRO (AFP) – Egypt on Wednesday ordered the arrest of the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme leader Mohammed Badie over violence in Cairo that left dozens dead while charging another 200 people over the bloodshed, judicial sources said.

Badie and other senior Brotherhood leaders are wanted for allegedly inciting the clashes outside the Republican Guard headquarters at dawn on Monday where supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were calling for him to be reinstated.

Morsi is currently being held in a “safe place, for his safety,” foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty told reporters on Wednesday, adding: “He is not charged with anything up till now,” he said.

His overthrow by the military a week ago, after massive protests calling for his resignation, has pushed Egypt into a vortex of violence that has claimed at least 88 lives, according to Amnesty International.

On Monday, in the worst incident, the Brotherhood claims police and troops “massacred” 42 of their supporters as they performed dawn prayers, with women and children among the dead.

The army said it came under attack by “terrorists”.

The public prosecutor on Wednesday charged 200 people held over the bloodshed outside the military barracks, the judicial sources said.

The charges and arrest orders came as interim authorities were to start talks on forming a caretaker cabinet headed by new prime minister Hazem al-Beblawi.

However they face tough hurdles as opponents and supporters of Morsi alike have slammed a temporary charter aimed at steering the divided nation through a difficult transition.

Interim president Adly Mansour has set a timetable for elections by early next year, while appointing Beblawi as premier and Nobel peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei as vice president responsible for foreign affairs.

But cracks have emerged in the loose coalition that backed Morsi’s overthrow.

The National Salvation Front (NSF), the main coalition formerly led by ElBaradei, denounced Mansour’s decree and demanded amendments, while Tamarod, the movement that spearheaded the grassroots campaign against Morsi, complained about not being consulted.

After initially announcing its “rejection” of the decree, the NSF on Wednesday toned down its reaction, saying instead it “disagreed” with some of its provisions.