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Six Die As Egyptian Protests Continue

Protests by supporters of deposed President Mohammed Morsi are continuing their protests against the military backed government, and those protests are continuing to becoming violent:

CAIRO — At least six people were killed Tuesday near a sit-in held by supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi, the latest sign that Egypt’s political impasse is devolving into street battles.

The deaths brought to at least nine the number of people killed over the last 24 hours during clashes in central Cairo, around Cairo University in Giza and north of the city in the Nile Delta, making it one of the deadliest periods since July 8, when more than 50 supporters of Mr. Morsi were killed by soldiers and police officers.

On Monday and Tuesday, the former president’s supporters and unidentified opponents fought running battles with firearms, bottles and rocks near Tahrir Square in Cairo and on the edges of two protest sites that have been held by Mr. Morsi’s Islamist supporters for weeks. The confrontations have escalated as the Islamists have broadened their demonstrations, marching in cities across the country as part of a determined but so far fruitless effort to restore Mr. Morsi to power.

There has been little sign of a solution to the standoff, which started after the military removed Mr. Morsi from power on July 3 after mass demonstrations throughout Egypt calling for his ouster. As Egypt’s new military-backed government has moved swiftly to assert its authority, Mr. Morsi’s movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, has refused, at least publicly, to abandon its positions.

On Monday, the Brotherhood released a statement reiterating its demands that the “coup must be halted” and that the president, the Constitution and the Parliament must be restored.

“It was the putschists’ intention to sow despair in the hearts of the Egyptian people,” the statement said.

One wonders how long the military will allow this to continue before aiming for a wider crackdown. Of course, such a crackdown is likely to just further embolden the Muslim Brotherhood or, worse, drive it underground.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook