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Egypt's Brotherhood calls for fresh rallies

Group says it will continue holding defiant protests, following end of tense standoff with police at Cairo mosque.

Last Modified: 18 Aug 2013 07:16
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Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has called for fresh demonstrations after police ended a tense standoff with protesters in a Cairo mosque.

A statement by the Anti-Coup Alliance said several marches would take place in the Egyptian capital on Sunday afternoon, continuing the daily campaign of protests in defiance of an intensifying crackdown.

Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros sent this update from Cairo about the threat of more protest action on Sunday

Meanwhile, Egypt's cabinet is set to discuss the crisis in the country.

Security forces on Saturday dragged Muslim Brotherhood supporters of Mohamed Morsi, the deposed president, from the Fateh Mosque, passing through angry crowds who called them "terrorists" and tried to beat them.

Authorities later said about 250 protesters were being investigated for murder, attempted murder and so-called "terrorism".

The clashes came as the government said the death toll from violence natiowide had risen to more than 750 since Wednesday, when police cleared two camps of Morsi loyalists in Cairo.

Crisis meeting

In a related development, Adly Mansour, the interim president, has put forward a proposal to legally dissolve the Muslim Brotherhood.

Its members are also supporters of Morsi, whose overthrow on July 3 as president prompted the Cairo sit-ins.

Meanwhile, international criticism of the bloodshed has mounted, with Germany and Qatar jointly condemning the "brutal violence" and Ban Ki-moon, the UN chief, urging "maximum restraint" and "de-escalation" at what he termed a "dangerous moment" for Egypt.

The siege of the Fateh Mosque near Ramses Square began on Friday, with security forces surrounding the building where Muslim Brotherhood supporters were sheltering and trying to convince them to leave.

The pro-Morsi group had lined up the bodies of dozens of protesters who had been killed on Friday inside the mosque-turned-morgue.

By Saturday afternoon, the situation turned violent, with witness accounts at the scene saying armed men inside the mosque were trading fire with police outside.

Police eventually dragged people from inside the mosque, shooting in the air to hold back residents who tried to attack supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood with sticks and iron bars.

Both outside the mosque and in other parts of Cairo, residents targeted those suspected of being part of the Muslim Brotherhood, often for no more than wearing a beard or a veil.

The tense siege came at the end of Friday of Anger demonstrations called by Morsi's supporters that left at least 173 people dead across the country, including 95 in the capital and 25 in Alexandria.

Among those killed on Friday was a son of Mohamed Badie, Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Egyptian Interior Ministry said it had arrested 1,004 Brotherhood "elements" during the unrest, and on Saturday security sources said the brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the al-Qaeda chief, had been detained.

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