Update: The Muslim Brotherhood offices have been set on fire…
It appears the re-civil-war in Egypt is gathering pace. What started at tens of thousands has swelled to hundreds of thousands of people crowded into the infamous Tahrir Square. As the live feed below shows, for now it is lasers, fireworks, but fires are starting to breakout and small skirmishes with police are being reported as the crowds call for Morsi’s ouster. Morsi’s supporters/civil servants, meanwhile, demand that “the elected president has to complete his term. We will not relinquish this even at the cost of blood.”
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) June 30, 2013
— CairoScene.com (@CairoScene) June 30, 2013
Some further color via The FT,
Tensions are soaring in the run-up to Sunday, when the opposition hopes a massive turnout will help to unseat Mr Morsi. Dozens of people were injured, some with birdshot pellets, as rival demonstrations by Islamists and their opponents in Cairo attracted thousands of people.
Organisers of a campaign called Tamarrod, or “Rebellion”, say they have collected millions of names on a petition calling for early presidential elections.
The opposition blames Mr Morsi for what it says are attempts to entrench the power of his Muslim Brotherhood group and marginalise other forces.
They also say Mr Morsi’s actions since he came to office have deepened divisions in the country and he has failed to live up to his promise to be a president of all Egyptians, not just Islamists.
The Islamists dismiss the opposition as bad losers at the ballot box who have allied themselves with corrupt remnants of the overthrown regime of Hosni Mubarak, the former president.
“The elected president has to complete his term,” said Khaled al-Mahdi, a civil servant from the Delta province of Sharqiya. “We will not relinquish this even at the cost of blood.”
“Vigilance is required to ensure we do not slide into civil war,” said a statement by Al-Azhar, the venerable Islamic university revered across the Sunni world. Broadly supportive of Mr Morsi, the statement blamed “criminal gangs” who besieged mosques for street violence which the Brotherhood said has killed five of its supporters this week.