AFP – Qatar, a key supporter of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, strongly condemned Wednesday’s bloody crackdown in Cairo against supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
“Qatar strongly denounces the means by which peaceful protesters in Rabaa al-Adawiya camp and Al-Nahda square have been dealt with and which led to the killing of several unarmed innocent people among them,” a foreign ministry spokesman said.
He urged Egyptian authorities to end the use of force and “preserve the lives of protesters.”
Qatar warned against “tearing apart the ranks of the brotherly Egyptian people as it is difficult to account for the results of these clashes and their future outcomes.”
The gas-rich Gulf state was a major financial supporter of Egypt under the presidency of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi, who was toppled by the army on July 3 after a wave of protests against his rule.
It called for “dialogue between all parties to achieve political and social plurality, in which no party should be excluded.”
The Doha-based Association of Muslim Scholars headed by influential cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi said the killings amounted to “the ugliest crime in the history of Egypt.”
The group, which has millions of followers mainly from the Muslim Brotherhood, urged all Egyptians to join pro-Morsi protesters as a “personal obligation.”
Qaradawi, an Egyptian-born Qatari, is seen as a spiritual guide to the Muslim Brotherhood. Earlier in July, he had issued a fatwa urging Egyptians to support the ousted leader.
Wednesday’s assault was launched shortly after dawn as security forces surrounded Rabaa al-Adawiya and a similar protest at Al-Nahda square, in the centre of the capital.
Egypt’s health ministry said at least 149 people were killed and another 1,403 people injured in the Cairo crackdown and in clashes across Egypt.