'Escalation' in Egypt Portends More Clashes to Come

Seven killed, over 260 injured on eve of swearing-in ceremony for new Cabinet

Common Dreams
Tensions continue to escalate in Cairo between state security forces and members of the Muslim Brotherhood party, who are protesting the forced removal of President Mohamed Morsi.

A series of overnight clashes Monday resulted in seven deaths and over 260 injured as police reportedly attacked the pro-Morsi demonstrators with teargas, birdshot and live ammunition.

In the weeks following Morsi's ouster, thousands of his supporters have been staging sit-ins in two locations in Cairo: one outside the main campus of Cairo University and another outside a mosque in a neighborhood in eastern Cairo that is a Brotherhood stronghold.

However, according to the Guardian's Egypt correspondent Patrick Kingsley, the spread of protest locations throughout Cairo Monday night "marked an escalation in Brotherhood tactics."

"Their decision to march on central Cairo and shut down several of the city's main thoroughfares was a provocative one," he writes.

Sources from the Muslim Brotherhood said that more surprise marches are to be expected after sundown Tuesday night.

The violence follows the arrival of US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns Sunday, with whom leaders from opposing Egyptian factions refused to meet with on the grounds that they "reject the interference by Americans or any other external powers in Egyptian affairs."

The Muslim Brotherhood--whose reign the United States supported following the 2011 ouster of Hosni Mubarek--blasted the U.S. in a statement Tuesday for what they say is their role in the military 'coup' against Morsi.

"It is the American hypocrisy, treachery, adaptability and crude interference in Egypt's affairs [...] It is an essentially American coup that would not have taken place without its (America's) consent," it said.

On Tuesday, interim president Adly Mansour swore in a number of new Cabinet members, as well as economist Hazem el-Beblawi to the post of prime minister. According to the Associated Press, a number of the key positions went to members of the country's "liberal movement," including the appointment of three women.

However, despite these gestures, many of the liberals who led the rebellion against Morsi have denounced Mansour's transition tactics and constitutional declarations as "dictatorial."

State-run Egyptian publication Ahram has complete list of appointments (translated).

You can follow the updates live on twitter:

Democracy Now!'s Sharif Kouddous reported on the developments in Egypt:


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