News / Middle East

Egypt Considers Brotherhood Ban, Gunfire Exchanged in Mosque

Policemen stand guard inside a room of the al-Fath mosque when supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi exchanged gunfire with security forces inside the mosque in Cairo, Aug.t 17, 2013
Policemen stand guard inside a room of the al-Fath mosque when supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi exchanged gunfire with security forces inside the mosque in Cairo, Aug.t 17, 2013
Reuters
Egypt's prime minister has proposed disbanding the Muslim Brotherhood of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, the government said on Saturday, raising the stakes in a bloody struggle between the state and Islamists for control of the country.
    
Live television showed a gunman firing at soldiers and police from the minaret of a central Cairo mosque, with security forces shooting back at the building where Morsi followers had taken shelter. Reuters witnesses said Morsi supporters also exchanged gunfire with security forces inside the mosque.

VOA's Elizabeth Arrott reports from Cairo
    
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Vows a Week Of Protestsi
X
August 17, 2013 12:56 PM
Egypt's military-backed government and those protesting against it both vow to stand their ground, as the crisis in the Arab world's most populous nation continues. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott reports from Cairo.

The Interior Ministry said 173 people died in clashes across Egypt on Friday, bringing the death toll from three days of carnage to almost 800.
    
Among those killed was a son of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie, shot dead during a protest in Cairo's huge Ramses Square where about 95 people died in an afternoon of gunfire and mayhem on Friday.
    
Egyptian authorities said they had rounded up more than 1,000 Islamists and surrounded Ramses Square following Friday's "Day of Rage" called by the Brotherhood to denounce a lethal crackdown on its followers on Wednesday.
    
Witnesses said tear gas was fired into the mosque prayer room to try to flush everyone out and gunshots were heard.
    
With anger rising on all sides, and no sign of a compromise in sight, Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi proposed the legal dissolution of the Brotherhood - a move that would force the group underground and could lead to a broad crackdown.
    
"It is being studied currently," said government spokesman Sherif Shawky.
    
The Brotherhood was officially dissolved by Egypt's military rulers in 1954, but registered itself as a non-governmental organization in March in a response to a court case brought by opponents of the group who were contesting its legality.
    
Founded in 1928, the movement also has a legally registered political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, which was set up in 2011 after the uprising that led to the downfall of veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
    
"Reconciliation is there for those who hands are not sullied with blood," Shawky added.
    
The Brotherhood won all five elections that followed the toppling of Mubarak, and Morsi governed the country for a year until he was undermined by mammoth rallies called by critics who denounced his rule as incompetent and partisan.
    
Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi says he removed Morsi from office on July 3 to protect the country from possible civil war.
    
Mass arrests
    
The Interior Ministry said that 1,004 Muslim Brotherhood "elements" had been arrested in the last 24 hours, accusing members of Morsi's movement of committing acts of terrorism.
    
Amongst those detained on Saturday was Mohamed al-Zawahiri, the brother of al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, security sources said.
    
The ministry also said that since Wednesday, 57 policemen were killed and 563 wounded in the violence.
    
Almost 600 people died on Wednesday when police cleared out two Brotherhood sit-ins in Cairo. Despite the growing bloodshed, the Islamist group has urged its supporters to take to the streets everyday for the coming week.
    
"Our rejection of the coup regime has become an Islamic, national and ethical obligation that we can never abandon," said the Brotherhood, which has accused the military of plotting the downfall of Morsi to regain the levers of power.
    
Many Western allies have denounced the killings, including the United States, but Saudi Arabia threw its weight behind the army-backed government on Friday, accusing its old foe the Muslim Brotherhood of trying to destabilize Egypt.
    
Worryingly for the army, violence was reported across Egypt on Friday, suggesting it will struggle to impose control on the vast, largely desert state.
    
The government said 12 churches had been attacked and burned on Friday, blaming the Islamists for the destruction.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid