Supporters of ousted president Mohammed Mursi have refused to leave their protest camps in Cairo despite warnings that police will begin to break them up today.
On alert for raids from security forces, the Muslim Brotherhood have condemned the threats of action from the interim government, which they refuse to recognise. They say they are not moving until Mursi is reinstated.
Muslim Brotherhood leader Gamal Heshmat warned that any action against the camps, one at Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque and the other at al-Nahda square, could inflame the whole country:
“These are sit-ins for all the sons of Egypt and any attempt to lay siege or to impose a slow death by cutting off water or food or electricity is a crime, and anyone responsible will be held accountable. Also any attack or the killing of Egyptians on the basis of political differences as is happening now by police and army will also be punished and could ignite the whole of Egypt.”
Even though troops are likely to be deployed around the two camps as the first step towards clearing them, Mursi supporters felt confident enough to hold a puppet show ridiculing Egypt’s army chief.
But with almost 300 people already dead in violent clashes since the overthrow, it’s feared the break up of the camps could provoke more bloodshed.