Egypt pre-dawn clashes leave six dead in Cairo

Heath ministry official says six people were killed in violent clashes between supporters and opponents of deposed president Mohamed Morsi

Pre-dawn clashes between supporters and opponents of Egypt’s ousted president near the main campus of Cairo University have left six dead, a senior medical official has said.

Khaled el-Khateeb, who heads the health ministry’s emergency and intensive care department, said on Tuesday that the six died close to the site of a sit-in by supporters of Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted by the military on 3 July after a year in office.

The coup followed street protests by millions of Egyptians demanding that the Islamist president step down. His supporters are calling for his reinstatement and insist they will not join the military-backed political process until then.

The latest clashes capped a day marred by violence in several parts of the country.

In Qalioub, north of Cairo, three people were killed on Monday in clashes between supporters and opponents of Morsi. Backers of the two sides also fought near the site of the main sit-in by Morsi supporters in an eastern Cairo district and in Tahrir Square, birthplace of the 2011 uprising that toppled the regime of Morsi’s authoritarian predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.

More than 80 people were injured on Monday, according to Khateeb.

Morsi’s family denounced the military in a news conference on Monday, accusing it of “kidnapping” him, and European diplomats urged that he be released after being held incommunicado for nearly three weeks since the coup.

The Brotherhood has tried to use Morsi’a detention to rally the country to its side, hoping to restore its badly damaged popularity. The interim government, in turn, appears in part to be using it to pressure his supporters into backing down from their protests demanding his reinstatement.

The interim president, Adly Mansour, repeated calls for reconciliation in a nationally televised speech late on Monday. “We … want to turn a new page in the nation’s book,” he said. “No contempt, no hatred, no divisions and no collisions.”

His speech marked the 61st anniversary of the 1952 military coup that toppled the monarchy and ushered in the start of decades of de facto military rule. © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds