Egypt is in crisis as scores of people die in what some people call Egypt’s second revolution.
Thousands of supporters and opponents of deposed president Mohamed Morsi continue to clash as they hold rival protests in Cairo. None of them show signs of going home.
Reports say 17 people are dead and over 70 people injured as pro-Morsi and anti-Morsi protestors battle each other.
According to reports, the violence has been spreading outside the capital with pro-Morsi supporters also battling with riot police. Massive anti-Morsi rallies are being held at Tahrir square. Supporters of the Egypt’s newly ousted president are holding demonstrations in Nasr city. Reports say they are defiant and are refusing to leave.
The most intense fighting took place on Cairo’s October 6 Bridge earlier in the day. The fighting lasted for some three hours. Reports say hundreds of people on the bridge used sticks, stones and rocks to attack each other in “Egypt’s second revolution.”
There are reports that three pro-Morsi protesters were killed when they tried to reach the Republican Guard Building in Cairo, where it is believed Morsi is being held. They came under gunfire resulting in three deaths.
Pro-Morsi protesters are demanding Morsi’s return to his elected office. They are also holding demonstrations across Cairo. According to media reports, Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators say their protests are pro-democracy. Their demands, they told reporters, are not only for Morsi but for democracy and indeed for Egypt’s identity.
They also complain that the coup orchestrated by the army is against their very existence. According to reports, they feel disenfranchised. They have seen their leaders rounded up and their supporters killed. One woman said she felt her vote has been stolen by the army.
Earlier in the day, Mohamed Badie, supreme leader of Muslim Brotherhood vowed to fight on. He said the military coup was invalid and criticized the army for staging it. “The army protects the thugs of the former regime’s ruling party and preserves the counter-revolution,” he said.
He urged pro-Morsi protesters to “sacrifice their souls” for the deposed president.
“We will sacrifice our souls for him,” he told supporters at Nasr City. “We and these millions will remain at all squares across the country to protect our elected president. Our president is Mohamed Morsi and we will not accept any alternative. We will carry him on our shoulders and sacrifice our lives for him,” Badie said.
Badie also condemned the Grand Imam of Islamic institution Al-Azhar and the head of Orthodox Church for approving Morsi’s ouster. He said they were not representatives of the Muslims and the Copts.
Khaled Dawoud, spokesperson of Egypt’s National Salvation Front in rebutting the Muslim Brotherhood’s demands told reporters there was no way to keep Morsi in office because he was not capable of running the country. He said there are millions of unemployed people on the streets.
“We did not ask the army to change the government except when we reached a state of stalemate. You can’t run the country when there is a stalemate, and the president is stubborn and refuses to listen to a large portion of the people. But Morsi rejected all of our demands and insisted on abusing the democracy that brought him there.”
Egypt’s second revolution continues as scores die on the streets in Cairo and across the country.
By Perviz Walji
For a related story, see: