press trust of india
Cairo, 12 July
Supporters and opponents of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi launched rival protest rallies today, the first Friday of the holy month of Ramzan, as the deeply polarised Arab nation remains on edge after nearly 100 people were killed in violence earlier this week.
Mr Mursi’s supporters chanting anti-military slogans gathered in their thousands in eastern Cairo to call for his reinstatement.
After Friday prayers, Muslim Brotherhood supporters said they would head for the presidential palace and the Republican Guard headquarters, where they believe 61-year-old Mursi, the country’s first democratically president is being held.
Mr Mursi’s opponents whose mass protests led to his removal by the military last week, are expected to gather at the iconic Tahrir Square.
Reports yesterday also said prosecutors are planning to investigate allegations that Mr Mursi and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders escaped from jail in 2011 with the help of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.
Mr Mursi’s supporters have been staging mass protests throughout the week near the Presidential Guard barracks in eastern Cairo, where they believe he is being held.
The focal point of the protest is the Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque, where they are camping out around the clock in their thousands, BBC reported.
The Brotherhood is not planning any marches but organisers hope a massive turnout will show support snowballing in their favour. Thousands came for midday prayers outside the mosque today despite the heat and lack of food and drink, in what is expected to be a full day of protests.