Tensions are high in Cairo after shootings on Saturday near a Muslim Brotherhood demonstration ended with at least 74 people dead. Meanwhile, Egypt's Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim told a graduating class of police cadets that the army and police would “respond to the call of the people” and put a stop to violence plaguing the country.
Graduating police cadets cheered Ibrahim as he vowed to accept what he called “the people's mandate” and put an end to chaos and violence. He said the police are ready, willing and able to bring security and stability to the country, and will not allow any ill-willed people to disturb the peace.
Thousands of supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi stood their ground Sunday near Cairo University and in front of the Rabaa el-Adawiya mosque, despite the vow by the interior minister to put an end to the protest, “using all legal means.”
Early Sunday, Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Abdel Rahman el Bar read a message from the group's Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie to Morsi supporters outside the mosque. He said what happened Saturday was an outrage to all that is sacred, and that it is beyond description. He called it a massacre and blamed secular politicians for giving their blessing to the bloodshed.
Egyptian officials say police only fired tear gas and that pro-Morsi marchers were responsible for the violence.
Meanwhile, an Egyptian court ordered the arrests of Badie, Brotherhood spokesman Mohamed al-Beltagy and radical cleric Safwat Hijazi for “inciting violence.” Hijazi was seen in a recent video vowing to “use all means to liberate Morsi," who has been held by the military since his ouster on July 3.
Egyptian state TV accused the Brotherhood of using buildings near their protest camp to stock weapons. Al Arabiya TV also broadcast a video purporting to show Brotherhood supporters firing on police before Saturday's bloodshed. Al-Jazeera TV showed video that it alleged showed police firing on protesters.
Images from Cairo Saturday:
Bodies of Morsi supporters killed early Saturday in clashes with security forces are seen in a makeshift morgue in Cairo, July 27, 2013, (Elizabeth Arrott/VOA).
A Morsi supporter kisses the body of a woman killed in early morning clashes with security forces at Rabia el-Adawiya mosque in Cairo, July 27 2013, (Elizabeth Arrott/VOA).
A sheikh leads mourners in prayers at a makeshift morgue at Rabia el-Adawiya mosque in Cairo, July 27, 2013, (Elizabeth Arrott/VOA).
A woman mourns outside the pro-Morsi encampment in Cairo, July 27, 2013, (Elizabeth Arrott/VOA).
A boy shows a shotgun shell after clashes between Morsi supporters and security forces in Cairo, July 27, 2013, (Elizabeth Arrott/VOA).
A protester vows to carry on a sit-in by Morsi supporters after deadly clashes Saturday in Cairo, July 27, 2013, (Elizabeth Arrott/VOA).