press trust of india
Cairo, 16 July
In a major crackdown on supporters of deposed President Mohammed Mursi, Egyptian authorities today arrested 401 people after violent clashes between police and the ousted Islamist leader’s followers here claimed seven lives.
“Security forces have succeeded in arresting 401 people for provoking unrest during the clashes,” state-run MENA news agency reported. The arrests were all made in the central Ramses area, where two people were killed in late-night violence, it said. There were also deadly clashes overnight in other parts of the capital. At least seven people were killed in the capital as supporters of Mr Mursi clashed with police since last night, taking the death toll to over 100 in continuing violence since the army ousted the Muslim Brotherhood leader, the country’s first democratically-elected president two weeks ago.
The Egyptian Ministry of Health today said the death toll from overnight clashes in different parts of Cairo was seven in addition to 261 injured.
Nineteen people were wounded in clashes in the central Ramses area near Tahrir Square and on the main bridges over the Nile, emergency services chief Mohammed Sultan said.
Another three people were wounded in clashes in adjacent Giza, while four policemen were admitted to hospital after the clashes in Cairo last night.
The violence comes as US Assistant Secretary of State William Burns, the highest American official to visit Egypt following Morsi’s ouster, urged Egyptian leaders yesterday to engage in dialogue and end violence, saying the country has a “second chance” at democracy.
Mr Burns met interim leaders but was snubbed by rival groups, including Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood. He assured US support to democratic process in Egypt, saying Washington wants the Arab nation to be strong, democratic and tolerant. Mr Burns condemned the violence, saying the USA denounces the sectarian strife and urges security forces to exercise the highest degree of self-restraint.
Mr Mursi’s overthrow on 3 Julyafter massive nationwide protests demanding his resignation has plunged Egypt into turmoil.