News / Middle East

Protests in Cairo Cause Tense Standoff

A police vehicle is set on fire by members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi during clashes near a television production complex in Six October City in Giza, south of Cairo, August 2, 2013.
A police vehicle is set on fire by members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi during clashes near a television production complex in Six October City in Giza, south of Cairo, August 2, 2013.
VOA News
Tens of thousands of supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi marched through Cairo Friday to demand his reinstatement, even as the interim government threatens to break up their protest camps.

State TV reports Egyptian police are planning to block access to one of the camps in northern Cairo.  Witnesses say Muslim Brotherhood supporters have set up sandbags and brick walls to stop police.

One Islamist leader told the crowd that Morsi supporters are ready to “shed their blood" to bring him back and protect Egypt's national security.

Activist in Cairo carries a sign that says: Activist in Cairo carries a sign that says: "Wait! Don't kill me. I'm not terrorist. I''m not even with the Muslim Brotherhood. I'm an Egyptian who loves my country. I'm a Muslim who loves my religion," Aug 2, 2013. (Hamada Elrasam for VOA)
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Activist in Cairo carries a sign that says:
Activist in Cairo carries a sign that says: "Wait! Don't kill me. I'm not terrorist. I''m not even with the Muslim Brotherhood. I'm an Egyptian who loves my country. I'm a Muslim who loves my religion," Aug 2, 2013. (Hamada Elrasam for VOA)
Interim Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei tells The Washington Post newspaper that Egyptian leaders want to avoid bloodshed, saying being harsh is no solution.  He says the government wants talks with the Muslim Brotherhood.

But ElBaradei says Egypt is a country with a lot of anger and irrational feelings and that things have to cool down before there can be any dialogue.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has sent Deputy Secretary William Burns to Cairo.  Kerry says Egypt needs to get back to what he calls a "new normal."  He says the government must allow peaceful protests, but the demonstrators have a responsibility not to stop progress.

Nearly 200 people, mostly supporters of Morsi, have been killed since the Egyptian military toppled him on July 3.  Morsi supporters demand his return to the presidency and the restoration of the Islamist-drafted constitution.

The country's interim government plans to hold a referendum within five months to ratify amendments to the constitution.  Parliamentary elections would take place early next year, followed by a new presidential election.

  • People perform Ramadan night prayers in Cairo, celebrating Lailat al-Qadr (the Night of Power), August 4, 2013.
  • A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi prays outside Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo, August 4, 2013.
  • The area around the Rabaa Adiweya mosque has been packed with Muslim Brotherhood supporters sleeping in tents for over a month. Families bring children to protect them from the police forcibly dismantling the sit-in. (H. Elrasam for VOA)
  • A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi prays outside Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo, August 4, 2013.
  • Children have been participating in protests in Egypt since the became widespread and near-constant in 2011. (H. Elrasam for VOA)
  • A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi gets relief from the afternoon heat with the help of water sprayers in front of a poster of Morsi, Cairo University,Giza, Egypt.
  • A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi cries while saluting the Egyptian flag at Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt.
  • An Egyptian woman feeds her ducks in front of a barrier recently set up by supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi in their camp in Giza, southwest of Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 1, 2013. 
  • An Egyptian child attends prayers with his father at a protest near Cairo University in Giza, Egypt, August 1, 2013. 
  • Egyptian children wear head bands with Arabic writing: "No god but Allah and Mohammed is the prophet." They attend a protest outside Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, Cairo, Egypt.
  • Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi pray at Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, where Morsi supporters have installed a camp and hold daily rallies at Nasr City, Cairo, July 31, 2013.
  • "Third Square" actvists, who promote a middle way in the rift between the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of the army's overthrow of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, gather at Sphinx Square in Cairo, July 30, 2013.
  • "Third Square" actvists gather at Sphinx Square in Cairo, July 30, 2013.
  • Supporters of Mohamed Morsi during a march from Al-Fath Mosque to the defense ministry in Cairo, July 30, 2013.
  • Flares illuminate the gathering of several hundred activists the "Third Square" in Cairo. (Hamada Elrasam for VOA)
  • A young girl at the Third Square rally in Cairo. (Hamada Elrasam for VOA)
  • A young girl at the Third Square rally in Cairo. (Hamada Elrasam for VOA)
  • A young girl at the Third Square rally in Cairo. (Hamada Elrasam for VOA)

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