Egypt Clashes Leave 17 Dead as Mursi Supporters Fight Police

Nationwide clashes between Egyptian police and supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi left at least 17 people dead, state-run Middle East News Agency said, citing an interior ministry official.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which fielded Mursi for the presidency and became the target of a crackdown by security forces following his July 3 removal by the military, had called for protests yesterday against the army-backed government. Violence flared in Cairo, Alexandria, Fayyoum and other provinces, state-run Ahram Gate reported.

Egypt declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organization last month after blaming the group for a recent surge in violence, without providing evidence. Authorities have already arrested and prosecuted many of the organization’s leaders, including the ousted president, and killed hundreds of its supporters.

A referendum scheduled for later this month is meant to pave the way to new elections and the restoration of democratic rule.

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