Egypt’s cabinet was set yesterday to discuss the crisis in the country, where hundreds have died in clashes in recent days, the BBC reports. The interim prime minister has put forward a proposal to legally dissolve the Muslim Brotherhood.
Its members are key supporters of Mohammed Morsi, whose ousting as president sparked Egypt’s stand-off.
According to Haaretz, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood risks political elimination, with the new army-backed government threatening to ban the Islamist organization after launching a fierce crackdown on its supporters that has killed hundreds.
The interim government is continuing to crack down on protests by the Brotherhood, but more demonstrations were planned around Cairo on Sunday, BBC further reports.
Overnight, television pictures showed protesters on the streets of Egypt’s second largest city, Alexandria, and in Helwan and Minya to the south of Cairo, in defiance of an overnight curfew. On Saturday Egypt’s security forces cleared the al-Fath mosque in Cairo after a long stand-off with Muslim Brotherhood supporters barricaded inside.
The confrontation at the mosque continued for most of Saturday – with exchanges of gunfire between protesters and security forces, who were cheered on by crowds outside.
The Brotherhood has called for daily demonstrations since a crackdown on its protest camps in Cairo on Wednesday left hundreds of people dead. Further clashes on Friday killed at least another 173 people across the country.
Haaretz informs that more than 700 people have died, most of them backers of Morsi, in four days of violence. That has earned Egypt stiff condemnation from Western nations, uncomfortable with Islamist rule but also with the overthrow of an elected government.
The pro-Morsi Anti-Coup Alliance announced plans for six marches in Giza, near Cairo, on Sunday.
Three other marches in Cairo at the same time were to head towards Heliopolis, where there will be a news conference by the alliance. On Saturday, the interior ministry said 1,004 Muslim Brotherhood members had been detained in raids across the country, with bombs, weapons and ammunition seized.
Among those killed on Friday was a son of the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Mohamed Badie. One figure detained was Mohammed al-Zawahiri – brother of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri – whom officials said had planned to support the Brotherhood supporters previously holed up in the al-Fath mosque.
A number of figures in the interim government have said they are engaged in a battle against the forces of “terrorism”.
Meanwhile, in a statement, a spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he “strongly condemns attacks on churches, hospitals, and other public facilities, which he finds unacceptable”.
“The secretary-general believes that preventing further loss of life should be the Egyptians’ highest priority at this dangerous moment.”