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Egyptians stage rival rallies as Mursi charges fuel tension

Published on Jul 27, 2013 6:40 AM
 
A military helicopter passes over Tahrir square during a protest to support the army in Cairo on July 26, 2013. Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets in rival mass rallies on Friday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

CAIRO (REUTERS) - Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets in rival mass rallies on Friday, hours after the state news agency said ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi was being investigated for charges including murder.

In Cairo, huge crowds heeded a call by army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to give him a popular mandate to confront violence unleashed by his July 3 overthrow of Mursi, many of them clutching pictures of the general in full ceremonial uniform.

Supporters of the deposed Islamist leader staged mass counter-demonstrations to demand his reinstatement, shrugging off fears of an imminent crackdown.

The army's move against Egypt's first democratically elected president has caused deep alarm in the West.

 
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