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Egypt Violence Kills 9, Threatens Transition to Elections

Egypt Clashes Kill 9 as Islamist Calls for U.S. Embassy Siege
A man is chased down a street by a crowd during clashes in Cairo. Photographer: Fayez Nureldine/AFP via Getty Images

July 23 (Bloomberg) -- Clashes between supporters and opponents of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi killed nine people, as violence following his ouster by the military showed no sign of ebbing.

The deadliest eruption of fighting took place near Cairo University, where six people were killed, state-run television reported, citing the health ministry. The Brotherhood said security forces attacked unarmed protesters. Another person died in Tahrir Square near the U.S. embassy after Muslim Brotherhood leader Essam El-Erian urged Egyptians to peacefully lay siege to the mission.

Daily violence that has claimed the lives of dozens over the past three weeks risks undermining the interim government’s plan to return to elected rule. At the same time, moves to put that process in motion have buoyed markets.

The military-appointed government is repeating the same mistake Mursi made, ruling “in an exclusionary, confrontational manner,” said Yasser el-Shimy, an analyst in Cairo at International Crisis Group. “This could eventually lead to a very dangerous prospect, which is basically the normalization of violence in the political context in Egypt.”

Militants have also stepped up attacks on security forces in the Sinai peninsula, and yesterday, unidentified gunmen shot dead a police sergeant in the northern town of El-Arish, the interior ministry said today in an e-mailed statement.

The fighting hasn’t halted a rebound on financial markets since the army intervention. The EGX 30 stock index, which was closed today, rose 0.6 percent yesterday in Cairo, taking the gauge to its highest since May 15. The yield on Egypt’s $1 billion dollar bonds maturing in 2020 rose six basis points, or 0.06 of a percentage point, to 8.53 percent, at 4:12 p.m., the highest in a week.

The military, supported by secular-leaning political parties and youth groups, removed Mursi from power after days of mass rallies against his rule. Under the transition plan, constitutional court chief Adly Mansour was named interim president and the constitution drafted under Mursi is to be amended. Presidential and parliamentary elections are to follow.

The panel charged with amending the country’s constitution today started reviewing proposals sent by various political parties, groups and individuals, the state-run Middle East News Agency reported.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alaa Shahine in Dubai at asalha@bloomberg.net; Maram Mazen in Cairo at mmazen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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