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New rival demos to be held in Egypt

Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi hold portraits of him during a demonstration in Cairo. (File photo)

Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi hold portraits of him during a demonstration in Cairo. (File photo)

Opponents and supporters of Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi have called for new demonstrations for the first Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has pledged to continue its peaceful resistance against the overthrow of Morsi. The group has called for separate demonstrations across the capital, Cairo.

“We will continue our peaceful resistance to the bloody military coup against constitutional legitimacy,” the Brotherhood said in a Thursday statement, adding, “We trust that the peaceful and popular will of the people shall triumph over force and oppression.”

Meanwhile, rival groups have called for protests on Friday, including a mass iftar – the breaking of the Muslim fast – in Cairo’s iconic Liberation Square.

On July 11, Egypt’s interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi said he would not rule out the participation of Muslim Brotherhood in the new government.

“I do not look at political association… If someone is named from (the Brotherhood’s) Freedom and Justice Party, if he is qualified for the post,” he may be considered, Beblawi said.

Muslim Brotherhood has already dismissed the new premier’s offer, saying Friday’s protests are against “a bloody military coup.”

On July 10, Egypt’s military-backed interim government stepped up its crackdown on the Brotherhood, ordering the arrest of its spiritual leader, Mohamed Badie and other senior figures.

Last week, Badie vowed in a speech that Brotherhood activists would pack the streets in their millions until Morsi would be restored to power.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern over the detention of political activists in Egypt, saying, “There is no place for retribution or for the exclusion of any major party or community in Egypt.”

On July 3, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the head of Egypt’s army, announced that President Morsi was no longer in office. Sisi also dissolved the Egyptian constitution.

The chief justice of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court, Adli Mansour, was sworn in as interim president on July 4.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty told reporters on July 10 that Morsi is currently being held in a “safe place for his safety.”

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