Egyptian prosecutors have ordered the arrest of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie and nine other leading Islamists on charges of inciting violence in connection with Monday's clashes that left more than 50 people dead.
Egyptian authorities on Wednesday escalated their crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, ordering the arrest of its supreme leader for inciting violent clashes this week, despite having reached out to the movement to form a transitional government.
Mohammed Badie and nine other leading Islamists are accused of instigating Monday’s violent clashes that saw more than 50 people killed.
The warrant for Badie's arrest further undermines the interim government’s attempt on Tuesday to reach out to the Muslim Brotherhood by offering them ministerial posts.
The Islamists have so far spurned interim prime minister Hazem el-Beblawi’s overtures.
"We do not deal with putschists. We reject all that comes from this coup," Brotherhood spokesman Tareq al-Morsi told the AFP news agency.
Thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters continued to denounce president Mohammed Morsi’s ouster with a sit-in at the Rabaah al-Adawiya Mosque, demanding his release from detention and reinstatement as president.
Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdel-Atti gave the first official word on Morsi in days, saying the ousted leader is in a safe place and is being treated in a “very dignified manner.”
“For his own safety and for the safety of the country, it is better to keep him ... otherwise, consequences will be dire,” he added.
‘We are his soldiers’
The previous Friday, Badie delivered a fiery speech to tens of thousands of supporters, during which he told them, “God make Morsi victorious. ... We are his soldiers. We defend him with our lives.”
Thousands of Islamists then marched in the streets and clashed with Morsi opponents in the heart of Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt, leaving more than 30 dead and 200 injured.
After a week of violence and mass demonstrations, Egyptians were hoping that Wednesday’s start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan would significantly calm the streets.
The sunrise-to-sunset fast cuts down on daytime activity, although there are fears of unrest at night.
(FRANCE 24 with wires)
Date created : 2013-07-10