Violence Erupts in Egypt in Day of Pro-Morsi Protests
Tension between pro-Morsi demonstrators and the Egyptian army worsened over Thursday and Friday, leading the military to declare itself on 'high alert' in the provinces of South Sinai and Suez, while violence broke out in the country's capital amid Muslim Brotherhood protests.
On Friday, two military checkpoints, a police station, and an airport in the region of Sinai were reportedly attacked by suspected Muslim Brotherhood militants, although it is not entirely clear that these attacks were in response to Morsi's ouster. One soldier was killed and three were injured, the AP reports.
According to Reuters, the military declared itself on 'high alert' after these attacks, also closing the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip indefinitely.
These incidents follow the army's removal of Mohammed Morsi and subsequent appointment of Adli Mansour as Egypt's interim president on Thursday, after days of nationwide demonstrations rocked the country.
Mass protests were organized by the Muslim Brotherhood for Friday to demonstrate against Morsi's removal and the arrests of many party members, staging what they are calling a "Day of Rejection" in order to demand the ex-president's reinstatement.
The protests are expected to start outside Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo's Nasser City neighborhood, where thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters have been camped for days.
The army has promised to allow peaceful protests.
"Peaceful protest and freedom of expression are rights guaranteed to everyone, which Egyptians have earned as one of the most important gains of their glorious revolution," the army command said.
But on Friday, military troops were sent to Morsi's hometown of Zagazig after violence broke out between pro and anti-Morsi protesters in which 80 people were injured.
Since Thursday, 12 demonstrators have been killed in clashes across Egypt, and more violence is feared in the days to come. Already on Friday, shots have been fired at a gathering of Morsi supporters in Cairo, killing at least three people and injuring one BBC journalist.
Meanwhile, Tunisia has condemned what it's describing as a "military coup," and the African Union has called Morsi's removal from office "unconstitutional," announcing that it will suspend Egypt from all activities.