Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood leader's son killed


Mideast Egypt Muslim Brotherhood
A son of the leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood was killed during protests against the army-backed interim government, the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party said Saturday as the death toll rose to 173.

Ammar Badie, son of Mohammed Badie, was shot dead in Cairo’s Ramses Square on Friday, the party said on its website.

He died near the al-Fath mosque, which was turned into a makeshift field hospital for injured protesters. Ammar Badie, a 38-year-old, computer engineer, is survived by his wife and two children.

It is not known where the Brotherhood’s leader currently is, Reuters said. He has been charged with inciting violence and faces a trial that starts on Aug. 25.

Sherif Shawki, spokesman for the Egypt’s prime minister, said Saturday on State TV that 173 people had been killed and more than 1,000 wounded in violence across Egypt since yesterday’s protests began.

Shawki added that 57 police officers had been killed and 503 had been injured since Wednesday when security forces moved to clear the pro-Muslim Brotherhood protest camps in Cairo.

A tense standoff continued at the al-Fath mosque Saturday after some protesters barricaded themselves inside while riot police and some plain clothes officers with sticks stood guard. Riot police had locked the front gates to the courtyard outside.

On Wednesday, the 17 year old daughter of Mohammed el Beltagy was also killed. El Beltagy is one the most seniors members of the Brotherhood.

More than 1,000 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood movement were arrested during the protests Friday, Egypt’s Interior Ministry said in a statement Saturday.

Egyptian state TV reported on Saturday that the son of Hassan Malek, another Brotherhood leader, was among those arrested, Reuters said.

Police also detained Brotherhood politician Gamal Heshmat, according to a statement from the Anti Coup Alliance. Heshmat is a leading member of the Freedom and Justice Party.

The crisis began after Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected leader, was ousted by the military on July 3.

An interim government has been set up and has promised to restore democracy to the country. However some believe it has essentially returned to military rule.

A statement on the Muslim Brotherhood’s website called for people to return to the streets every day for a week.

The statement, which said it was issued by the “Anti-Coup, Pro-Legitimacy National Alliance,” praised the “masses of patriotic Egyptians” who protested Friday across the country.

It spoke of the protesters’ “heroic bravery under aerial bombardment from July 3 coup forces’ helicopters and war-planes using live bullets.”

“The Alliance calls on the great masses of the Egyptian people to protest peacefully throughout the next week,” the statement said.

“The Alliance reiterates its commitment to fully non-violent demonstrations and its rejection of all attacks on places of worship as well as public and private property,” it added.

There have been reports of attacks on churches and Egypt’s Interior Ministry said that Muslim Brotherhood supporters had tried to storm police stations in Cairo Friday, but had been repelled by the security forces.

Disturbing video footage emerged of a protester being shot by the security services.

In the film clip, which was confirmed by the Storyful news agency but not independently by NBC News, the man is seen walking toward armored vehicles.

The man, who does not appear to be armed, was at the head of a small group of protesters. Amid the sound of heavy gunfire, most of them start to back away, but he remains standing with his arms raised.

He is then clearly shot and falls to the ground. It was unclear how seriously he was injured.

On Friday, protesters expressed their determination to carry on demonstrating.

Mohammad Samir, an English teacher, said Morsi was “the legal president of Egypt.”

“Freedom is the only thing we want. [Military chief Gen. Abdel-Fatah] el-Sissi killed democracy in Egypt, so we are here to get our democracy again,” he said.

“We will not get back to our homes … again before getting our freedom.”

Samir, from Shariqa, named his three-month-old son Nidal, which means “resistance,” because of the protests.

Sara Ahmed, 28, a business manager, told Reuters on a march of thousands of headed downtown from northeast Cairo that it was “not about the Brotherhood, it’s about human rights.”

“Sooner or later I will die. Better to die for my rights than in my bed,” she said. “Guns don’t scare us anymore.”

First Published by NBC News website

Photo: The Muslim Brotherhood General Guide Mohammed Badie . His son was killed during protests against the army-backed interim government, the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party said Saturday August 17, 2013. At right is the logo of The Muslim Brotherhood. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)