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Pro-Morsi Protesters Pack the Streets of Cairo

by Edward Yeranian July 19, 2013

Tens of thousands of supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi have held rallies in the capital Cairo and a number of other cities. A rival protest of those who supported Mr. Morsi's ouster was due later in the day.

The crowd of Morsi supporters chanted slogans against the new Egyptian government and against Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el Sissi. Witnesses reported that more than a dozen pro-Morsi marches had been organized from different Cairo mosques.

Pro-Morsi protesters carried large posters of the former president, along with banners demanding that he be re-instated. One sign said "the people want to topple the coup."

Egyptian state TV reported that marchers were trying to congregate near Republican Guard headquarters where a bloody shootout took place last week. The ousted president is thought to be held in that building. An army spokesman urged protesters not to attack military targets.

At the same time, supporters of the new interim government began flowing into Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square for a rally set to begin after sunset. Police were posted along various side streets to try and prevent pro and anti Morsi demonstrators from clashing.

Throughout the day, Egyptian F-16 fighter jets flew over the capital to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Yom Kippur War against Israel. Pro-government supporters dubbed their rally the "Friday of Victory," alluding to the 1973 war.

In the Sinai, Egyptian troops continued to conduct a "surgical military operation" against Islamiat militants, according to Al Ahram Online. Egypt's official Middle East News Agency reported that 10 militants had been killed in the last 48 hours, along with one policeman.

Hussein Abdel Ghani, a spokesman for Egypt's National Salvation Front, which opposes Morsi, accused his group and its allies of "attacking Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai."


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