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Egypt braces for more protests, prays for calm

Supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi called for protests on Friday, and Egyptians prayed there would be no repeat of clashes that killed more than 90 people in the last week and left the Arab world’s biggest nation bitterly divided.

Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement wants people to join it on the streets to push for Egypt’s first freely elected leader to be reinstated, an aim that now seems in vain.
Officials say Morsi is still being held at the Republican Guard compound in Cairo, where troops killed 53 Islamist protesters on Monday in a clash that intensified anger his allies already felt at the military’s decision to oust him.

Four soldiers were also killed in a battle the military says was started by terrorists. Morsi’s supporters say those who died were praying peacefully when troops opened fire.
Egypt’s 84 million people have been shocked by the shootings, graphic images of which have appeared on state and private news channels and social media.

The incident came just three days after 35 people were killed in clashes between pro- and anti-Morsi demonstrators across the country.
‘It’s a very hard time for Egyptians, to see footage of blood and violence during the holy month of Ramadan, and everyone I speak to says the same thing,’ said Fateh Ali, a 54-year-old civil servant in Cairo.

‘I really hope the situation gets resolved soon. I don’t think we can afford this economically or psychologically.’ The Brotherhood believes it is the victim of a brutal military crackdown, evoking memories of when it was suppressed under longtime autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak. He was toppled in a popular uprising in 2011.

But many of its opponents blame Islamists for the violence, and some have little sympathy for demonstrators who died, underlining how deep the fissures in Egyptian society are. Outside the Rabaa Adawiya mosque in Cairo, thousands of Brotherhood supporters gathered to mourn the dead in Monday’s attack.
Agencies

Agencies

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