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Over 100 injured in Friday clashes - Daily News Egypt

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Over 100 injured in Friday clashes

The Brotherhood blames ‘paid thugs’ for violence in downtown Cairo

An Injured protester sits on the road while protesters throw stones during clashes between the Muslim Brotherhood movement's opponents and supporters on April 19, 2013 in central Cairo.  (AFP Photo)
An Injured protester sits on the road while protesters throw stones during clashes between the Muslim Brotherhood movement’s opponents and supporters on April 19, 2013 in central Cairo.
(AFP Photo)

Friday’s clashes left 115 injured across a number of governorates, according to the head of the Ambulance Authority.

Mohamed Sultan said that 105 of those injuries occurred in Cairo when violence near a Muslim Brotherhood protest at the High Court building ignited on Friday afternoon, according to state-owned Al-Ahram. An additional six people were injured in clashes in Alexandria, while four were injured in Daqahleya.

Sultan added that 91 of the injured had left hospital. Most of the injuries were bruises, cuts, and injuries sustained from birdshot.

Footage shows both sides were armed in the clashes between President Mohamed Morsi’s supporters and his detractors. Central Security Forces intervened, firing tear gas at those who had been fighting with protesters from the predominantly Brotherhood demonstration.

The Brotherhood accused masked Black Bloc members of attacking and setting one of its buses on fire.

The FJP reaffirmed its support of the amending of the Judicial Authority Law in a Saturday statement, saying it was an important step to reform the judiciary. It condemned Friday’s violence, calling for the perpetrators to be “brought to justice,” saying it would continue participating in dialogue to achieve judicial reform. The FJP also called on the Shura Council to work with presidentially-appointed Prosecutor General Tala’at Abdallah to spearhead judicial reform and adjustments to the Judicial Authority Law.

The National Salvation Front (NSF) blamed the Brotherhood for using “excessive violence” in the Friday clashes and for attempting to exert illegitimate influence on the judiciary. It said the Brotherhood was seeking to undermine the judiciary because of previous rulings that had worked against it, including the dissolution of the People’s Assembly, and accused it of facilitating security personnel’s lack of impunity.

The NSF also accused the Brotherhood of using “retribution for the martyrs” as a “deceptive slogan” similar to their calls to “purge the judiciary”.

“Those who masterminded attacks against peaceful demonstrators today are people who are afraid of their legitimate demands,” said Muslim Brotherhood media spokesperson Ahmed Aref on the group’s website.

“The Egyptian people know well who calls for violence and who calls for achieving the goals and demands of the revolution,” he added. “All attempts to drag us into violence will not succeed.”

Senior member of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) Mohamed Al-Beltagy blamed the media for focusing on the clashes, which he described as “contrived” and initiated by “paid thugs”.

“Those who are now battling it out are armed thugs,” he said. “[Peaceful demonstrators] have nothing to do with ongoing make-believe clashes.”

Islamist groups staged a protest at the High Court on Friday, demanding the “purging” of the judiciary of former regime supporters. Opposition groups did not participate, condemning what they saw as an attempt by the Brotherhood to further politicise the judiciary.

The Al-Dostour Party said it was concerned that the demonstration was an attempt to pressure the country’s legislative branch into compromising judicial independence, while the Al-Tayar Al-Sha’aby said it was “surprised” by the call to protest by a group it claims had already compromised judiciary independence in its favour.

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