With the official protest set for June 30, streets in Cairo, Alexandria and other cities are already filling with Egyptians demanding Morsi’s resignation. Many warn that a ‘civil war’ is on its way.
06/28/2013 Egypt (Reuters)- Egypt’s leading religious authority warned of “civil war” on Friday and called for calm as political factions clashed ahead of major rallies the opposition hopes can force the Islamist president to quit.
A member of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood was shot dead overnight. Dozens of people were wounded in Alexandria, many by shotgun pellets, when opposition marchers clashed with Islamists on Friday, two days before President Mohamed Mursi’s critics hopes millions take to the streets to demand new elections.
“Vigilance is required to ensure we do not slide into civil war,” clerics of the Al-Azhar institute said. In a statement broadly supportive of Mursi, it blamed “criminal gangs” who besieged mosques for street violence which the Brotherhood said has killed five of its supporters in a week.
The movement’s political wing warned of “dire consequences that will pull the country into a violent spiral of anarchy”. It held liberal leaders, including former top U.N. diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei, personally responsible for inciting violence by hired “thugs” once employed by the ousted dictator, Hosni Mubarak.
Opposition leaders also condemned the violence.
In Alexandria, at least 36 people were wounded, a Health Ministry source said, many by birdshot when hundreds scuffled outside a local office of the Muslim Brotherhood. A Reuters reporter saw about a dozen men break off from an anti-Mursi march on the seafront to throw rocks at the building’s guards.
They responded. Bricks and bottles flew. Gunshots went off. Ambulances arrived. Military helicopters hovered overhead.