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Morsy supporters defiant after Egypt bloodshed

AFP
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Opponents of ousted President Mohammed Morsy hold a rally at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt.photo:ap
Opponents of ousted President Mohammed Morsy hold a rally at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt.photo:ap

Supporters of Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsy pledged to press their protests on Sunday, a day after bloody clashes at a Cairo sit-in killed at least 72 people.

Sporadic violence was reported nationwide overnight, including in the Suez Canal city of Port Said.

Saturday's violence in the capital drew international and domestic condemnation, including from Washington, a key backer of the Egyptian army. Following the clashes near the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque where Morsy loyalists have been camped out for weeks, the interior minister pledged to disperse the protests "soon". But the violence and the warning did not appear to have thinned the ranks at the Cairo demonstration, where a core group of several thousand protesters remained.

And Gehad El-Haddad, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, said demonstrators were angry but "hugely defiant" after Saturday's deaths. "There are feelings of agony and anger, but also a very strong feeling of determination," he told AFP. "People are hugely defiant," he added."For us, if we die, we meet our creator and we did so for a just cause... Either we die or we succeed."

The violence early on Saturday was the bloodiest incident since Morsy's July 3 ouster by the military following huge demonstrations against his rule.

The deaths came after rival protests both for and against Morsy on Friday.

The health ministry said 72 people were killed in Cairo on Saturday, along with nine killed in second city Alexandria a day earlier.

Sporadic violence continued overnight, including in Port Said, where state news agency MENA said 15 people were injured during clashes at the funeral of a Morsy supporter killed in Cairo.

MENA and an eyewitness speaking to AFP said Morsy supporters opened fire during the funeral, but a Brotherhood spokesman said the mourners had come under attack.

A medical source at Port Said's Al-Amiri hospital said it had five people wounded in the clashes, "including two in a critical condition, with bullet wounds to the neck and chest".AFP


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