Egypt rival factions call for 1973 war anniversary protests

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Supporters of the deposed Egyptian president Mohammad Mursi are calling for new protests on the 1973 Arab-Israeli war anniversary on Sunday after the deadliest violence in weeks.

“The Egypt Anti-Coup Alliance repeats its call to all Egyptians to continue their protests in every part of Egypt, and to gather in Tahrir Square on Sunday, October 6, to celebrate the army of that victory and its leaders,” the Islamist group said.

The announcement comes a day after deadly protests left at least four people dead in Cairo as Mursi supporters mounted their boldest marches since troops crushed their protest camps demanding his reinstatement on Aug. 14.

Clashes were also reported in Alexandria and the Upper Egypt province of Assiut, state media reported.

The Anti-Coup alliance of Islamist groups called on its supporters to try once more to reach Cairo’s Tahrir Square to mark Sunday’s 40th anniversary of the war. The square is currently blocked off by the army.

The Tamarod movement, which led a campaign against Mursi, has also called for demonstrations across Egypt on Sunday.

“We call all Egyptians to come out tomorrow across all squares in the country to assert that this nation will not allow its revolution to be stolen and will not allow the gangs to impose their will on the people of Egypt,” Tamarod leader Mahmoud Badr told reporters, according to Agence France-Presse.

The conflict, known as the October war in the Arab world and the Yom Kippur war in Israel, is remembered proudly by the Egyptian army as it caught Israel’s defenses unawares and led ultimately to Egypt’s recovery of the Sinai Peninsula in the 1979 peace treaty.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon expressed deep concern over rising unrest in Egypt, including deadly clashes which took place on Friday in Cairo, according to Agence France-Presse.

The U.N. official stressed on the importance of peaceful protest.

“Ahead of announced demonstrations marking a national holiday in Egypt on Sunday, the Secretary-General stresses the importance of peaceful protest, respect for freedom of assembly and commitment to non-violence. He also expresses his concern at the serious violence today in Cairo,” read a statement posted on the U.N.’s website.

“The Secretary-General continues to underscore the need for political inclusion, full respect for human rights, including of those detained in prison, and the rule of law as the basis for a peaceful, democratic transition.

“These are principles to which the Egyptian authorities themselves have committed in the roadmap they have set forth,” the statement added.

(With AFP)

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