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Nigerians hold mass rally to back Morsi

Thousands in Kano state in predominantly Muslim north rally in support of Egypt's deposed president.

Last Modified: 26 Aug 2013 04:53
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Leaders of the protest movement told a crowd of 5,000 in Kano state that the killings in Egypt had to stop [AFP]

Thousands of Nigerians have rallied in support of Egypt's deposed President Mohamed Morsi and called for military leaders who overthrew his government to be tried.

The Movement for Islamic Survival organised the rally in predominantly Muslim northern Nigeria's biggest city of Kano on Saturday. It was addressed by Islamic scholars and human rights activists.

Shaykh Abubakar Mujahid, leader of the protest movement, told the crowd of 5,000 the killings had to stop, and that he thought the coup leaders should be brought before the International Criminal Court at The Hague in the Netherlands.

Egypt has been rocked by unrest since a popularly supported July 3 coup that toppled the democratically elected Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood. Last week was one of the country's bloodiest in which more than 1,000 people died.

The victims have been mostly supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement to which Morsi belongs. However, security forces have also been killed in the violence that Egyptian authorities say has been fomented by Morsi supporters.

Morsi, who was in office for a little more than a year, remains in detention having been incarcerated by military leaders who have vowed to take a firm stance against those calling the Islamist president's reinstatement.

The protests in Nigeria, which has a large Muslim population like Egypt, coincided with those staged by thousands of Egyptians demonstrating against military rule in several areas of the capital Cairo.

Security and military forces deployed around Cairo, closing off traffic in some major thoroughfares and in the city centre.

In the southern Maadi district, several thousand protesters marched from the Al-Rayan Mosque to Arab Square. They chanted "coup, coup" and "down with military rule".

The rallies were seen as a test of whether supporters of Morsi can keep up their pressure despite an intensive security crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

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