Morsy fervor erupts; 2 dead
By Betsy Hiel
Published: Friday, June 28, 2013, 11:57 p.m.
CAIRO — Clashes erupted across Egypt in advance of Sunday's planned nationwide demonstration against President Mohamed Morsy.
Just hours after Egyptian officials said an American had been killed on Friday in clashes between government supporters and opponents in the port city of Alexandria, the State Department said Americans should defer nonessential travel to the country. The U.S. Embassy will close Sunday and Monday.
The American was killed during fighting outside the Muslim Brotherhood office, the head of Alexandria security said. The American was taking pictures of the clashes and died of a stab wound.
Twodeaths and nearly 150 injuries were reported outside the capital, and protesters ransacked four offices of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood.
The world's most populous Arab nation — still considered a key U.S. ally — has been wracked by growing turmoil since Morsy won the presidency a year ago.
Opposition leaders hope to bring out millions of angry Egyptians to demand his resignation.
In Cairo, pro- and anti-Morsy protests sprang up Friday.
Tens of thousands gathered in the capital's Tahrir Square, chanting for Morsy to resign.
Thousands from the Brotherhood and its allies from another Islamist party, the Gama'a Islamiyya, demonstrated in a suburb.
New cement barriers surrounding presidential palace gates were covered with anti-Morsy graffiti. There, a small but vocal group waved red cards, similar to those used by a soccer referee to eject a player, with the message “Leave, oh sheep!” — an opposition reference to Brotherhood followers.
Young men stood on the barriers, waving boxer shorts imprinted with the word “Leave,” while others chanted against Morsy and the Brotherhood. Passing drivers honked car horns in support.
“Morsy has ruined the country … we are going backwards,” said bank accountant Ahmed Muhammed Ali, 24. He predicted Morsy supporters will turn violent on Sunday: “They always want blood and make problems.”
Journalist Muhammed Hani Al Aswany said he joined the gathering in Tahrir Square from the first day of the 2011 uprising that overthrew Morsy's predecessor, Hosni Mubarak. He returned there Friday because, he said, the revolution is unfinished.
“Egypt will be lit up until Morsy leaves,” he predicted.
“A revolution in the square, a revolution everywhere!” shouted a passing man.
“We see that Egypt is in the prison of the Brotherhood and terrorists,” said Muhammed Hassan, 67, a retired accountant. “We come here peacefully but if there is violence, then that is the price for freedom.”
Protesters erected tents at the palace and in the square, suggesting they plan to stay.
Anti-American messages were visible in Tahrir, too — placards with photos of U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson, an “X” over her face, and a large sign declaring, “Obama supports terrorism.” Many Egyptian liberals believe the administration has been too supportive of the Brotherhood.
Bearded men armed with sticks guarded the entrance to the Islamists' rally. One man, Ismail Hussein, said he came from the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya to “protect democracy's base.”
Hussein, 43, an aviation engineer, said he belongs to no party but felt strongly about not allowing an elected president to be ousted.
He said violence would erupt only if “we are forced to defend ourselves and our president.” But he said “violence may be the price for our revolution.”
Lawyer Walyeddin El Masry came to the Islamist rally from the coastal city of Hurghada, where he belongs to the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, “to protect democracy.”
“But if anyone is against the democratic system and the elections, we will fight him and we will destroy him,” said El Masry, 37.
Other marchers carried posters of Morsy and shouted Islamic slogans.
Betsy Hiel is Trib Total Media's foreign correspondent. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Nelson Mandela: The real legacy
- Penguins’ Orpik taken off ice on stretcher in loss to Bruins
- Breaking down the Pirates’ needs entering winter meetings
- State police kill knife-wielding suspect in child abduction from Brentwood
- Steelers still have something worth playing for
- Rossi: Penguins’ Orpik among select NHLers going without gluten
- Kovacevic: On Melancon, Mandela, molding
- Donora woman found dead in burning home
- Robinson: Video review reveals Steelers coach’s sideline movements in Baltimore were out of character
- Little change in small-town life
- Controversial Rooney Rule has opened door for NFL minority coaching candidates