Egypt moving towards civil war warns Putin
Astana, July 7, 2013
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday Egypt risked slipping into civil war following the military overthrow of President Mohamed Mursi.
Dozens of people have been killed and more than 1,000 wounded in clashes between Mursi's supporters, opponents and the military since the president's exit.
"Syria is already in the grips of the civil war ... and Egypt is moving in the same direction," Putin told Russian state news agency RIA Novosti during a visit to Kazakhstan's capital Astana.
Meanwhile, Egypt's political transition after President Mohamed Mursi's ouster by the military has stumbled at the first hurdle, as the choice of liberal politician Mohamed ElBaradei as interim prime minister was thrown into doubt by Islamist objections.
Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood movement called for further protests on Sunday after dozens of people were killed and more than 1,000 wounded on Friday in clashes between his supporters, opponents and the military.
The violence across the Arab world's most populous state saw rival factions fighting street battles in central Cairo and many others cities and towns, and underlined the pressing need for a swift and inclusive political solution.
The state Al-Akhbar newspaper, critical of the Brotherhood, ran the headline "The Brotherhood Killed Children in Alexandria" above images purportedly showing a youth being pushed from a concrete tower onto a rooftop by Mursi supporters.
The Mediterranean city, where 14 people have died, was scene of some of the worst clashes in the dramatic upheaval since Mursi's removal from office, which comes just over two years after autocratic former president Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a popular uprising.
ElBaradei's nomination had been confirmed by several sources and state media on Saturday, but just before midnight a presidential spokesman told reporters that the prime minister had not in fact been chosen.
The abrupt U-turn came amid opposition to the appointment by the hardline Islamist Nour Party, Egypt's second Islamist force after the Brotherhood, highlighting the challenge the military faces in finding consensus among liberals and conservatives on who should run the country. - Reuters
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