Egyptian forces clear Cairo mosque of protesters amid violent demonstrations

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Egyptian security forces have cleared supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, from Cairo\’s al-Fath Mosque. 
All the protesters have now been taken out of the mosque, and many have been arrested, security forces say.
Security forces raided the al-Fatah Mosque where supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi sought refuge Saturday after Friday\’s \”Day of Rage\” protests led to clashes in the capital and elsewhere.
Arab news media broadcast video showing security forces shooting at the mosque, and scenes of chaos inside the building as people took cover. There were also reports of at least one person firing shots from the mosque\’s minaret.
Meanwhile, large crowds of Morsi supporters took to the streets Saturday in Cairo, Alexandria and several other cities, in defiance of a nighttime curfew. Video has shown chanting demonstrators waving flags and posters of the deposed leader. 
Hazem el-Beblawi, named interim prime minister after the military deposed and detained  Morsi in early July, said the government is working to achieve \”harmony and reconciliation.\” 
But, he added, that would not include those whose \”hands are stained with blood.\” An official spokesman said government leaders are considering possible legal action to outlaw the Muslim Brotherhood. 
The group was banned for many years under the regime led by former president Hosni Mubarak, but gained freedom to operate in public after the Arab Spring revolution that toppled Mubarak. 
The government said Friday\’s carnage left 173 people dead – most of them in Cairo – and more than 1,000 injured. A spokesman said 57 security force officers were killed. Overall, more than 700 people have been killed during the past week. 
The pro-Morsi National Alliance for Supporting Legitimacy put Friday\’s death toll at 213. The group charged that government aircraft fired on peaceful demonstrators. 
The government has accused the Muslim Brotherhood of inflating the casualty toll, and also charged that Brotherhood supporters had attacked police stations, prisons and churches. 
The Muslim Brotherhood, which contends the government has killed thousands of Egyptians this past week, says its protests will continue. 
Separately, the Egyptian authorities say they have arrested the brother of al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Mohammed al-Zawahiri was detained at a checkpoint in Giza, near Cairo, because of his links to Mr Morsi, according to security officials.
Also on Saturday, the Muslim Brotherhood said on its Facebook page that Ammar Badie, the son of the movement\’s spiritual leader, General Guide Mohamed Badie, was one of those killed during protests on Friday.
The Brotherhood said that Ammar Badie, 38, had died of a bullet wound in Ramses Square on Friday.
The secretary-general of the Brotherhood\’s Freedom and Justice Party, Mohammed al-Beltagi, says his 17-year-old daughter, Asmaa, died in earlier protests.
The army blocked off entrances to Tahrir Square, the focus of demonstrations that led to the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Morsi, Egypt\’s first democratically elected president, was ousted by the military on 3 July.
He is now in custody, accused of murder over a 2011 jailbreak. His period of detention was extended by 30 days on Thursday.
Source: Agencies

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