Egyptian fire jets fly in formation during a ceremony at a military base, east of Cairo, Egypt, July 22. (AP)
Four killed in Cairo clashes Morsi family vows legal action

CAIRO, July 22, (Agencies): Clashes between supporters and opponents of Mohamed Morsi killed four people on Monday as the ousted Egyptian president’s family vowed to sue the army over his ouster.
At least 26 people were also injured as the rival camps exchanged volleys of stones and birdshot, emergency services said. Police fired tear gas in a bid to disperse the clashing demonstrators.
The fresh violence came as Morsi’s family said they planned to sue the military for having “kidnapped” the elected president, who has been in custody since the July 3 coup. It came despite an appeal by the army-installed civilian caretaker government for demonstrators to show restraint after weeks of nationwide demonstrations and deadly violence in the Sinai Peninsula.

Shaimaa Mohamed Morsi, the toppled president’s daughter, told a news conference that the family was planning to take legal action in Egypt and abroad. “We are taking local and international legal measures against Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the leader of the bloody military coup, and his putschist group,” she said of the army chief. She voiced dismay at “the silence of rights organisations and civil society over the crime of kidnapping the legitimate president,” whose election in June last year was widely regarded as Egypt’s first free vote for a leader.


The family held General Sisi responsible for Morsi’s safety. Morsi has been detained at an unknown location since his overthrow. Morsi’s son Osama said the family had not heard from him since. “None of us has had any contact with our father since the afternoon of the coup on July 3,” he told reporters. The United States and Germany have led international calls for Morsi’s release, but Egypt’s interim authorities have rejected them, saying he is being held in a “safe place”.


Supporters of Morsi, who was ousted after a single year of his mandate, have pressed demonstrations, holding marches and protests across the country since his fall.
Some have led to bloody clashes and on Monday security and medical sources reported at least four people dead and 26 wounded.
One was killed near Cairo’s Tahrir Square, epicentre of the 2011 uprising that ended three decades of autocratic rule by Hosni Mubarak.
Three more died in Qalyub, in the northern outskirts of the capital.
Large crowds of Morsi supporters had held protests calling for his reinstatement.
Members of the now dissolved upper house of parliament, which had been dominated by Morsi’s Islamist backers, held a defiant meeting in Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque.
Chanting “Sisi killer,” and anti-police slogans, demonstrators also hung pictures of the ousted president on the gates of the public prosecutor’s office.
“I believe we will restore him by more pressure on the streets,” Mohammed Awad, one of the protesters, told AFP.


Others at the march dismissed the legitimacy of the new interim authorities.
Supporters of Morsi also rallied in the Abbasiya area of Cairo, near the defence ministry.
On Sunday, the cabinet meeting focused on Egypt’s battered economy and efforts to boost the deteriorating security situation.
Since Morsi’s ouster, militants have ratcheted up attacks on security forces in the restive Sinai, killing four security services personnel and two civilians on Sunday.


Assailants shot dead the three soldiers and one policeman in separate attacks in El-Arish, and two civilian bystanders were killed later when the army traded fire with gunmen, security sources told AFP.
In Rafah, a Sinai town that straddles the border with the Gaza Strip, unknown assailants launched an attack on a riot police camp with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, wounding five policemen.
Analysts attribute the Sinai violence to Islamist militants seeking to take advantage of the insecurity that has followed Morsi’s ouster.
EU foreign ministers called Monday on Egypt’s military to stand aside and allow a peaceful transition to civilian rule after ousting the elected government earlier this month.
Expressing “deep concern” over developments in Egypt, ministers said “the armed forces should not play a political role in a democracy.”
Instead they “must accept and respect the constitutional authority of civilian power as a basic principle”.
“It is now of utmost importance that Egypt embarks on a transition, allowing a transfer of power to a civilian-led and democratically elected government,” ministers said in a statement after a regular meeting.


EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton recently visited Egypt to convey the same concerns and arriving for the meeting earlier Monday stressed again the importance of a democratic transition.
“We will be looking to make sure that Egypt gets back on the path to democracy,” Ashton said, adding that “this is about democracy, making sure that that happens.”
EU foreign ministers said “Egypt has to move rapidly to an inclusive democratic transformation process, including by the holding of democratic elections in the shortest possible time.”
Among a list of demands, ministers cited an “end to politically motivated arrests” and “the release of all political detainees, including Mohamed Morsi.”


The European Union remained ready to “assist the Egyptian people in their desire for a democratic and prosperous future,” they concluded.
Egypt said on Monday it would cancel visa fees for Syrians, the latest effort to ease diplomatic tensions between the two Arab states after the army ousted president Morsi this month.
Morsi, a member of the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood, Had cut off diplomatic relations with Syria, led by Shi’ite President Bashar al-Assad, last month at a rally packed with hardline fellow Islamists calling for holy war in Syria.
Egypt’s army-backed administration that replaced Morsi has since tried to distance itself from his position, which analysts say could signal a desire to return to a role as a more neutral broker in the civil war.
More than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria’s conflict between pro-democracy protesters and hardline Sunni militants and Assad’s forces since March 2011.
Millions of Syrians have been displaced to Arab and international countries, including tens of thousands in Egypt.


Egypt’s radio broadcast the news about the change in policy on Syrian visa on its main noon news show on Monday and said it was “meant to comfort the Syrian people”.
Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said on Saturday that Egypt has no intention of waging a holy war against Syria and was “re-examining” diplomatic ties with the war-torn country.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty told Reuters the removal of the visa fees was “a sign of our full support for the Syrian people during this difficult period”.
Egypt still supported the “revolution” of the Syrian people, he added, but did not say if that included their call to oust Assad. Morsi repeatedly had called on Assad to step down.
“We did it in order to ease the burden on our Syrian brothers,” foreign ministry spokesman Abdelatty said.
 

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