Mohamed Ibrahim, Minister of Interior, blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for the deadly Cairo clashes on Saturday and denied officers had fired live rounds to break up its protest. They had however, suffered wounds from buckshot fired by protesters, said the minister. The police are investigating the disappearance of four police officers during the clashes. Some witnesses said they had been seized by Brotherhood supporters, disarmed and taken hostage.
According to Ibrahim, the officers used tear gas to disperse protesters on a bridge for fear it would collapse. He accused the pro-Morsi camp of exaggerating the number of casualties, which stood officially at 65 killed and 700 wounded. The Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim vowed to end the three-week sit-in at the mosque calling for the reinstatement of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and restore order to Cairo streets after the two massive rival demonstrations Friday night. The military claim millions rallied in support of the army in Tahrir Square.
debkafile reported Friday night: Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators filled Cairo’s streets and squares Friday, July 26 in rival rallies shortly after deposed president Mohamed Morsi was formally charged and detained for 15 days. Tahrir Square was packed with crowds responding to Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s call for a mandate to support the military fight on “terrorists.” Another huge crowd of Morsi supporters packed the streets around the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Nasser City.
Instead of directing their ire at the overthrown Muslim Brotherhood, the pro-military demonstrators shouted “Bye Bye America!” as huge placards waved over their heads depicting as a threesome Gen. El-Sisi, Vladimir Putin and Gemal Abdel Nasser, who ruled Egypt in the 60s in close alliance with the Soviet Union.
Their rivals in a separate part of Cairo chanted "Sisi out! Morsi is president! Down with the army!"
In Alexandria, five people were killed in clashes between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and opponents.
The anti-American banners represented a message: No matter if President Barack Obama denies the Egyptian people US support because of the military’s steps against the Muslim Brotherhood, Cairo has an option in Moscow.
Reports began appearing Friday morning on the social networks including Facebook from sources close to Putin that Moscow is considering supplying Egypt with advanced fighter bombers to replace the F-16 planes, whose delivery Obama suspended Wednesday, July 24. This was a gesture to show the US President’s displeasure over Gen El-Sisi’s rejection of the demand to release the ousted president and integrate the Muslim Brotherhood in the interim government.
The military gave the Muslim Brotherhood an ultimatum to endorse the new situation by Friday. The Brotherhood, whose supporters have maintained a sit-in in Nasser City for 20 days, did not respond.
The military accordingly gave the screw another turn.
A Cairo investigating judge Friday ordered deposed president Morsi detained for 15 days pending investigation into charges of plotting with the Palestinian Hamas to orchestrate a jailbreak during the 2011 revolution and conniving with Hamas in killing police officers and soldiers.
He has been held at an unknown location since the coup.
These charges carry potential death sentences.
They relate to the attack by armed men who on Aug. 5, 2012 killed 16 Egyptian border policemen in their camp in northern Sinai near Rafah. The prosecution claims to have evidence that the raid was plotted by Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to depict the Egyptian military as a spent force. That attack kicked off the current armed Salafist mutiny against Egyptian military and police targets in Sinai
The other charge relates to the raid on Wadi Natroun prison at the tail end of the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak, which broke out of jail thousands of inmates including Morsi and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
According to debkafile’s intelligence sources, the jailbreak was executed by special networks of Hizballah and Hamas which had been planted in Cairo and Suez Canal cities for subversion and terrorism.
The radical Hamas, offspring and ally of the Egyptian Brotherhood, is now solidly in the military regime’s sights as a hostile entity.
The military takeover of power in July 3 is gaining the aspect of a neo-Nasserist revolution. Many Egyptians are beginning to turn to Moscow in search of their country’s primary world ally rather than Washington. They have taken note that Putin has shown himself to be the foe of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria as well as Egypt.