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Continued: Egypt's interim president vows to protect country ahead of planned massive protests

  • Article by: SARAH EL DEEB , Associated Press
  • Last update: July 18, 2013 - 4:45 PM

The Brotherhood says the military and police opened fire without reason on peaceful protesters. The military says armed Islamists started the violence by attacking the club. Human Rights Watch has said that authorities moved in to break up a peaceful sit-in and some Morsi supporters used live ammunition.

Since the shooting deaths, another large rally organized by Morsi supporters in central Cairo sparked street clashes with the police, in which local residents also attacked Morsi supporters. Seven were killed and hundreds injured in the overnight fighting.

On the eve of Friday's rally, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie issued a statement calling on the military to reconsider its decisions and "return to righteousness ... and accept the will of the people."

The Friday rallies coincide with the tenth day of Ramadan, which Egyptians celebrate as the day the armed forces crossed the Suez Canal in the 1973 war with Israel.

Badie used the occasion to celebrate achievements of the armed forces and appeal to members of the military to remember that their real mission was to defend Egypt.

"We call on the leaders of the coup to return to righteousness, (to) quit what is wrong," he said. In the sit-in by Morsi supporters, organizers read Badie's message. The protesters immediately broke out into the chant: "The people and army are one hand."

Badie and a dozen other Brotherhood figures and supporters are wanted by prosecutors for their alleged role in inciting violence. In his statement, he urged protesters to remain peaceful.

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