Cairo protesters defy crackdown threat

Supporters of deposed president continue to demonstrate in Egyptian capital, as UN chief voices concern over stalemate.

    Thousands of supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi are continuing to protest in Cairo, despite warnings of a military crackdown.

    The protesters held sit-in protests on Saturday, despite repeated warning from the interim government that it would clear all sit-in demonsrtations. However, it had yet to give a deadline on the action.  

    Meanwhile, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was deeply concerned about the crisis and called on all sides to urgently reconsider their actions and language.

    Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh, reporting from Cairo, said that statements by the interim government and pro-Morsi supporters indicated that neither side was willing to compromise to break the deadlock.

    "Some mediators would tell you they don’t feel that the door has been completely shut on mediation, that both sides may have not yet crossed that point of no return," Rageh said.

    "But that, of course, both sides need to bring down the rhetoric, because while these statements might not reflect a genuine negotiating stance, they could still be overall damaging to the process."

    A military coup last month removed Morsi from office, following weeks of anti-government protests.

    The Anti-Coup Alliance said protests would continue in Cairo.

    "The days will only increase their determination to persist in their peaceful struggle until the country returns to the democratic path, until the coup is completely ended," the pro-Morsi group said in a written statement.

    Twenty-eight pro-Morsi protesters and one police officer were injured when clashes broke out between demonstrators and police on Friday outside the security directorate in Fayoum.

    Reuters news agency later quoted security sources saying that the clashes had taken place between several hundred supporters and opponents of Morsi.

    Some of the injured suffered the effects of teargas inhalation, while birdshot wounds were also reported by the health ministry.

    More than 100 people, mostly Morsi loyalists, were killed in previous confrontations with police and soldiers.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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