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Saturday, 27 July 2013 08:36

Death toll rises in Egypt clashes

CAIRO (AP) — Clashes between security forces and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi have now killed nearly 40 people.

A doctor at the Islamist-led rally in Cairo says the overnight night clashes have overwhelmed the field hospital operating from the sit-in where the protesters have been camped for over three weeks.

Police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of Morsi supporters near the sit-in, setting off clashes that lasted for hours— in a possible sign of a new intolerance for marches that block city streets.

The clashes erupted following a day when millions took to the streets answering a call from the army chief, who said he wanted a mandate to stop "potential terrorism" by Morsi supporters.

Published in National News

   CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's official news agency reports that the state prosecutor has ordered the detention of the ousted president over alleged contacts with Hamas to help in his escape from prison in 2011.

   The MENA news agency said Mohammed Morsi has been detained for 15 days for investigation into the charges.

   Egypt's military has been holding Morsi in an undisclosed location since deposing him on July 3.

Published in National News

   CAIRO (AP) - A senior Health Ministry official says clashes overnight between police and supporters of Egypt's ousted president have left at least seven people dead.

   Khaled el-Khateib also says 261 people were injured in the violence that broke out late Monday and carried on into the early morning hours of Tuesday in four different locations in the capital, Cairo.

   Thousands of supporters of Mohammed Morsi, who was overthrown by the military, were protesting to press their demands that Morsi be reinstated as president.

   Egypt's military deposed Morsi on July 3 after days of mass street protests calling for him to step down.

   The ousted president's supporters say he was ousted by a military coup that overturned democratic rule.

   

Published in National News

   CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian military officials say gunmen killed at least five supporters of the former president when people tried to storm a military building in Cairo.

   The official, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to brief reporters, said a group had tried to storm the headquarters of the Republican Guard. He added that those killed had been supporters of former President Mohammed Morsi camped outside the building in protest at his overthrow.

   A spokesman for Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group gives a different account of the incident, saying the army opened fire on Morsi supporters at dawn and killed at least 34.

   The military spokesman says there were casualties among army troops outside the building but gave no figures. State TV said at least one officer was killed.

Published in National News

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is calling for protests to denounce the military's toppling of President Mohammed Morsi, while opponents of the ousted Islamist leader also are urging supporters to take to the streets for mass rallies.

The calls for competing rallies have renewed fears of street violence, two days after clashes between the rival camps left at least 36 people dead and more than 1,000 wounded.

The Brotherhood, which helped propel Morsi to power as Egypt's first democratically elected leader, has denounced the military takeover as a "coup," and is demanding he be reinstated.

The collection of liberal, secular and youth groups that spearheaded the campaign to oust Morsi, meanwhile, have called for a mass rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square later Sunday to support the country's new interim government.

Published in National News

CAIRO (AP) — Officials say Egypt's interim president has held talks with the army chief and interior minister following overnight clashes across the country that killed at least 30 people.

Adly Mansour met with army chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who is also the defense minister, as well as Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, who is in charge of the police, at the presidential palace today.

It was the first time Mansour has worked out of the president's main offices since he was sworn-in Thursday as the country's interim leader. Mansour took over a day after the military overthrew Mohammed Morsi, who was the country's first democratically elected president.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

Cairo's emblematic Tahrir Square and nearby approaches to the River Nile are largely empty and debris-strewn today and Egypt remains on edge.

Published in National News

CAIRO (AP) — The supreme justice of Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court has been sworn in as the nation's interim president, replacing the Islamist Mohammed Morsi who was ousted by the military.

   Adly Mansour was sworn in Thursday at the Constitutional Court in a ceremony broadcast live on state television.

   According to military decree, Mansour will serve as Egypt's interim leader until a new president is elected. A date for that vote has yet to be set.

   Manosur's assumption of office comes a day after the military deposed Morsi, who took office a year ago as Egypt's first democratically elected president.

   The military moved to oust Morsi after millions of Egyptians took to the streets this week to demand his resignation.

   Morsi is under house arrest at an undisclosed location.

Published in National News

CAIRO (AP) - A top adviser to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi says the country is seeing a military coup.

 

   The military today moved to tighten its control of key institutions. It did so with the passing of a deadline it had set for Morsi to meet the demands of protesters calling for him to leave office. Just before the deadline arrived, Morsi vowed again not to step down. And he criticized the military for "taking only one side."

 

   Troops backed with armored vehicles have been sent to the heart of Cairo. Meanwhile, a travel ban has been imposed on Morsi and his top allies, ahead of an almost certain push to remove the Islamist president.

 

   Soon after the deadline passed, a military helicopter circled over the anti-Morsi crowds in Cairo's central Tahrir square -- which had become a sea of furiously waving Egyptian flags. The crowd chanted for Morsi to "leave." After nightfall, fireworks went off, and green lasers flashed over the crowd.

 

   In the main squares of cities nationwide, millions of people turned out, again demanding Morsi's removal. It's the fourth day of the biggest anti-government rallies Egypt has seen -- even bigger than in the uprising that ousted his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.

   Earlier today, the head of the army met with a leading reform advocate, Mohammed ElBaradei, along with Egypt's top Muslim cleric and others. A spokesman for an opposition group says they met to discuss a political road map.

 
Published in National News

CAIRO (AP) — Thousands of Egyptians demanding the ouster of Egypt's Islamist president are gathering at Cairo's central Tahrir Square at the start of a day of massive, nationwide protests many fear could turn deadly.

Sunday marks the first anniversary of President's Mohammed Morsi's assumption of power as Egypt's first freely elected leader.

Thousands of Morsi's supporters have staged a sit-in since Friday in an eastern Cairo district not far from the presidential palace, the focus of protests later on Sunday to demand his ouster.

The youth group leading the campaign to force Morsi out said it had collected more than 22 million signatures from Egyptians who want the president to go. It was not possible to verify the claim.

Morsi's supporters have questioned the authenticity and validity of the signatures.

Published in National News
LUXOR, Egypt (AP) — A hot air balloon flying over Egypt's ancient city of Luxor caught fire and crashed into a sugar cane field on Tuesday, killing at least 18 foreign tourists, a security official said.

It was one of the worst accidents involving tourists in Egypt and likely to push the key tourism industry deeper into recession. The casualties included French, British, Japanese nationals and nine tourists from Hong Kong, the official said.

Three survivors of the crash — two tourists and one Egyptian — were taken to a local hospital.

According to the Egyptian security official, the balloon carrying at least 20 tourists was flying over Luxor when it caught fire, which triggered an explosion in its gas canister, then plunged at least 300 meters (1,000 feet) from the sky.

It crashed into a sugar cane field outside al-Dhabaa village just west of Luxor, 510 kilometers (320 miles) south of Cairo, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Bodies of the dead tourists were scattered across the field around the remnants of the balloon. An Associated Press reporter at the crash site counted eight bodies as they were put into body bags and taken away. The security official said all 18 bodies have been recovered.

The official said foul play has been ruled out. He also said initial reports of 19 dead were revised to 18 as confusion is common in the aftermath of such accidents.

In Hong Kong, a travel agency said nine of the tourists that were aboard the balloon were natives of the semi-autonomous Chinese city. It did not say whether all nine were killed. The information was posted on the agency's website.

In Paris, a diplomatic official said French tourists were among those involved in the accident, but would give no details on how many, or whether French citizens were among those killed.

Speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to be publicly named according to government policy, the official said French authorities were working with their Egyptian counterparts to clarify what happened. French media reports said 2 French tourists were among the dead but the official wouldn't confirm that.

Hot air ballooning, usually at sunrise over the famed Karnak and Luxor temples as well as the Valley of the Kings, is a popular pastime for tourists visiting Luxor.

The site of the accident has seen past crashes. In 2009, 16 tourists were injured when their balloon struck a cellphone transmission tower. A year earlier, seven tourists were injured in a similar crash.

Egypt's tourism industry has been decimated since the 18 day uprising in 2011 against autocrat leader Hosni Mubarak and the political turmoil that followed and continues to this day.

Luxor's hotels are currently about 25 percent full in what is supposed to be the peak of the winter season.
Published in National News
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