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Eid in Egypt fails to ease tensions as crowds pray in Cairo

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Eid in Egypt fails to ease tensions as crowds pray in Cairo


Prayers filled the air in Egypt for Eid but a political edge to the festival was not far away. Families flocked to one of two sites in Cairo occupied by supporters of the ousted President Mohamed Mursi.

The threat of the interim government that its patience with the Islamist protest camps has run out and it will move them has had little impact. The demonstrators who want Mursi re-instated are defiant. Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed el-Beltagy summed up their mood.

“The revolution will go on. Whoever thought that the revolution would come to an end once Ramadan was over was wrong,” he said.

Across the capital the army joined in the early morning prayers before a festive atmosphere broke out. On a stage in the centre of Tahrir square a singer sang an anti-Muslim Brotherhood rap. Portraits of the army leader General Sisi hung from trees and lamp-posts.

“I am very sad about what is going on in Egypt. Today is Eid and the Egyptian people are divided into two sides, two different thoughts and it’s a shame because both sides are Muslims,” said Medhat Abdel Moneam who was in Tahrir Square.

Interim president Adli Mansour and his fellow leaders prayed together. It’s unclear if and when the leadership will move to carry out its threat to dismantle the two anti-government protest camps in the capital.

Mansour has vowed to press ahead with plans to hold an election in nine months – a message to Mursi supporters he will not be re-instated.

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