Shura Council Dissolved | Egypt suspended from AU

July 5, 2013 . By

Interim President Adly Mansour released a “presidential declaration” dissolving the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Shura Council. In an attempt to calm Morsi’s supporters throughout the country, Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb released a statement urging nonviolence, and former Grand Mufti of Egypt Ali Gomaa similarly condemned the outbreak of violence. Aside from promoting nonviolence, Gomaa’s statement denounced any calls for jihad “out of its context” and any incitements to violence against “Muslim citizens and followers of Abrahamic faiths.”

The military released a statement saying, “The armed forces have not arrested or detained any individual in Egypt for political reasons.” Adding to the string of arrests of influential Muslim Brotherhood members, Egyptian security officers arrested the former head of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Mahdi Akef.

The African Union’s Peace and Security Council announced that it would suspend Egypt from all AU activities as the removal of Morsi from power “falls under the definition of an unconstitutional change of government.” In response, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry spokesman stated that the decision to suspend Egypt’s involvement did not reflect the popularly-driven nature of the events of July 3.

The coalition of Islamist groups operating as the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy called for peaceful protests to “denounce the military coup against legitimacy [and support] the legitimacy of President Morsi.” Mohammed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide, spoke at the pro-Morsi sit-in at Raba’a al-Adaweya, where he restated the commitment of the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters to reinstating Morsi. Daily News Egypt indicates that he dismissed the might of the military and suggested that Morsi supporters “would be willing to sacrifice their lives to reinstate the former president.” Badie also remarked that “our demonstrations are stronger than bullets and tanks.”

During the day in Zagazig, northeast of Cairo, 80 were injured in clashes between pro-Morsi and anti-Morsi demonstrators; three Morsi supporters were arrested by security officers. There were 12 deaths in similar clashes in Alexandria.

In one filmed incident in Alexandria’s Sidi Jaber district, Hamada Badr, 19, was killed (and two others were injured) in an apparent act of retribution by a pro-Morsi group. Friends of Badr, along with his father, indicated that Badr and others were throwing rocks at a gathering of pro-Morsi supporters from a rooftop, prompting a group of pro-Morsi men to close in on their position. Ultimately, Badr and his friends were surrounded on a ledge on a rooftop, and Badr and one other person either was pushed or fell off the ledge onto the rooftop some 15 to 20 feet below. The crowd on the roof proceeded to beat the two of them, killing Badr.

In total, violent clashes around the country resulted in 30 people being killed and 1,100 injured. In Cairo, security forces apparently fired on demonstrators outside Republican Guard’s military barracks, killing three. The army maintains that soldiers “did not open fire on the demonstrators” and that soldiers “used blank rounds and teargas.” In the Manial area of Cairo, five residents were shot and killed in clashes between pro- and anti-Morsi gatherings. Manial residents purport to have prevented Morsi supporters from reaching Tahrir Square (the principal gathering place for anti-Morsi protestors) in an effort to limit any violence. The clashes reached a peak around 6:30 pm on the 6 October Bridge, where birdshot, stones, and Molotov cocktails were exchanged between the sides. Continuing clashes later in the evening claimed the lives of two pro-Morsi supporters participating in a sit-in at Cairo University. (Images of Manial aftermath/mourners)

Near the border with the Gaza Strip, an Egyptian soldier was killed and two were wounded when rockets were fired at a police station in Rafah. Also near the border, rocket-propelled grenades were fired at the al-Arish International Airport.

In Nagaa Hassan, located in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Luxor, Muslim mobs attacked Copts in reaction to the death of Hassan Sidqi Hanafi, a Muslim who died under unclear circumstances. The family of the deceased accused a Christian of killing Hanafi, and a mob attacked the accused early in the day Friday. The group proceeded to attack both Coptic individuals and their homes throughout the day. In total, four Christians were killed and five wounded, and about 20 homes were reportedly looted and set on fire. As a result of the attacks, about 100 Christian families were displaced from their homes.