The blame game started quickly in Egypt in the wake of the bloody crackdown on the two Cairo pro-Mursi protest camps that left hundreds dead.
A senior Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohamed El-Beltagi, accused the head of the armed forces, who deposed President Mursi, of knowing he was in the wrong and trying to spread the blame.
El-Beltagi said: “This massacre is part of a genocide, it is all very clear. General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi knows that the coup has failed and that his destiny is a criminal trial, so he is seeking to involve the Egyptian army and the people in a civil war.”
Al-Sisi, who is the defence minister and army chief, ousted President Mursi saying his Muslim Brotherhood was trying to grab power and taking the country too far along the Islamist path.
His interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi said that to “restore security” they had no choice but to break up the protest camps: “This had to happen, everything was done in plain sight for everyone to see and hear what was happening. Everything was videoed. It could be seen that there were weapons and ammunition. This was not just a sit-in two in these two places – Nahda and Rabaa al-Adawiya – rather we felt that there was a campaign to create disorder. There have been attacks against police stations, government buildings, hospitals, so the state had to intervene and take these exceptional measures.”
In a televised statement Beblawi said the decision to break up the protests “was not easy” and came only after the government had given mediation efforts a chance.
Egypt’s interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim has said no more sit-ins will be anywhere in the country.