Egypt regime threatens to ban Islamists
A plainclothes policeman, center, points his gun as security forces escort Muslim Brotherhood members through supporters of the interim government installed by the army on Saturday. Supporters of deposed President Mohamed Mursi fought a gunbattle with security forces in a Cairo mosque while Egypt's army-backed government, facing deepening chaos, considered banning his Muslim Brotherhood group. (REUTERS)
Blaming a defiant Brotherhood for the bloodshed, Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi proposed dissolving the group in a move that would force it underground and could usher in mass arrests of its members countrywide.
"There will be no reconciliation with those whose hands have been stained with blood and who turned weapons against the state and its institutions," Beblawi told reporters.
"We as Egyptians feel deep bitterness towards coverage of the events in Egypt," presidential political adviser Mostafa Hegazy said, accusing Western media of ignoring attacks on police and the destruction of churches blamed on Islamists.
Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets in June to denounce Mursi and the army says it removed him from office on July 3 to avoid a civil war.
"Democracy did not work for Egypt I am afraid," said Hussein Ahmed, a 30-year-old Egyptian banker in Cairo, who had protested against Mubarak in the 2011 uprising.
Brotherhood leaders accuse the military of deliberately sabotaging their time in office and plotting their demise.
The interior ministry said police had arrested more than 1,000 Muslim Brotherhood "elements" following Friday's riots. The group said daughters and sons of the leadership had been targeted in an effort to gain leverage over the organisation.
The government has ordered a dawn-to-dusk curfew that looks set to last until the middle of September, leaving the normally crowded streets of major cities eerily deserted at sundown.
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