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Egyptian forces to cordon off protest sites

August 2, 2013 • World News


Supporters of Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi sit in a tent they set up during a protest near Cairo airport in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Aug. 2, 2013. Authorities outlined plans Friday to break up two sit-ins by supporters of deposed President Morsi, saying they would set up a cordon around the protest sites, and riot police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators threatening a TV complex. Morsi backers also showed their defiance by briefly setting up a third camp near the airport, but later folded their tents and left. Arabic writing on Morsi poster reads: “Yes for the legality, no for the coup.” (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

CAIRO (AP) — Authorities outlined plans Friday to break up two sit-ins by supporters of deposed President Mohammed Morsi, saying they would set up a cordon around the protest sites, and riot police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators threatening a TV complex.

Morsi backers also showed their defiance by briefly setting up a third camp near the airport, but later folded their tents and left.

The military-backed interim government seeks to end a political stalemate that has paralyzed Egypt and deeply divided the country. Supporters of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood say they will not disperse until he is returned to power.

The second-ranking U.S. diplomat arrived in the Egyptian capital for talks on the political crisis, as Secretary of State John Kerry warned both sides that “the last thing we want is more violence.”

Also Friday, Amnesty International reported cases of alleged killings and torture at the hands of Morsi supporters inside the protest camps, saying that one man had his throat cut and another was stabbed to death.

In southwestern Cairo, police fired tear gas at Morsi supporters who rallied in front of Media City, a site housing most of Egypt’s private TV stations, a security official said. A second official told the state news agency that protesters tried to “obstruct traffic in an attempt to affect work at the complex.”

The rally was “a desperate attempt by rioters from the (Islamist) current,” Maj. Gen. Abdel-Fattah Othman, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, told the private TV station Mehwer. “There was reinforcement from police and army that will not allow any reckless person to get close to the Media City or storm it.”

He described the protesters as “brainwashed” to attack broadcasters perceived as secular opponents of the Islamists. Last year, Morsi supporters held a sit-in near Media City, often harassing TV personalities and forcing many of them to sneak into the studios from other entrances.

Demonstrators said they gathered there to protest the lack of local media coverage of their activities, and insisted their gathering was peaceful. Health ministry official Khaled el-Khateeb said 23 people were Login to read more

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