Egypt's new regime born in chaos as violence spreads

Interim president to be new PM but Muslim opposition puts appointment in doubt

Cairo

There was confusion last night after Mohamed ElBaradei was authoritatively reported to have been appointed as Egypt’s interim prime minister by the acting president, Adly Mansour. He was expected take the country along a military-imposed political roadmap amid vicious strife, including growing sectarian attacks and a rising death toll.

However, this was contradicted late last night by Egyptian state television, which denied any such appointment had been made.

The former head of the International Atomic Energy Commission met the armed forces chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, yesterday and, according to officials, agreed to act as executive head of a new “salvation government” until fresh elections can be held.

But shortly afterwards the Muslim Brotherhood declared that the appointment of Mr ElBaradei, who had led a coalition of left-wing groups, was “illegitimate”. “We reject this coup and all that results from it, including ElBaradei,” a senior representative of the Brotherhood was reported to have told an Islamist gathering in Cairo.

Mr ElBaradei was among liberal leaders who opposed the Islamist President Morsi, ousted by the military on Wednesday. Thousands of Brotherhood supporters in Cairo yesterday were preparing to march to a military base where the deposed president is thought to be held.

A similar attempt to free Mr Morsi on Friday from the HQ of the Presidential Guards resulted in four protesters being shot dead by security forces amid running battles.

The violence across the country has left 35 people dead and about  a thousand wounded. Yesterday a Coptic Christian priest, Mina Aboud Sharween, was shot dead in El-Arish town in north Sinai.

The Muslim Brotherhood has fiercely criticised the Coptic Pope Tawadros, the spiritual leader of the country’s eight million Christians, for giving his blessing to the removal of Mr Morsi by the army, and for turning up to support the announcement of the constitution being suspended by General al-Sisi.

The Muslim Brotherhood has refused to take part in the process, denouncing the army intervention as a coup and pledging that they will stay on the streets until Mr Morsi is reinstated. One Brotherhood leader, Mohammed Badie, told a rally the new government was illegitimate.  “Millions will remain in the squares until we carry our elected president ... on our shoulders,” he said.

Mr Badie appealed to soldiers to defy their senior officers and free Mr Morsi. The army yesterday issued a statement on its Facebook page denying reports some commanders had asked for Morsi’s reinstatment.

“These rumours come within the context of the continued attempts to spread rumours and lies as one of the methods of the systematic information warfare being waged against the armed forces with the aim of dividing its ranks and striking at its strong cohesion,” it read.

Meanwhile the US and United Nations expressed concern. The State Department urged Egypt’s leaders to stop the violence. The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, called for demonstrators to be protected. The security forces were present in much greater numbers yesterday, after Friday evening’s violence. A crowd of close to 5,000 Morsi supporters crossed the Nile over the 6 October Bridge, near the hub of opposition dissent, Tahrir Square. They had surrounded  Maspero, the state television centre, when they were confronted by anti-Morsi demonstrators and fighting broke out.

The violence was replicated elsewhere with some of the fiercest clashes taking place in the second city, Alexandria, where 14 people were killed after, it was claimed, Brotherhood supporters attacked with guns and knives. One opponent, who had been taunting them, was thrown from a roof.

Six members of the security forces were killed in attacks by jihadist fighters in the Sinai, leading to the closure of the border with Gaza. Yesterday a new Islamist group calling itself Ansar al-Shariah (Supporters of Islamic Law) said it would gather arms and start training members for jihad against the state. Brotherhood supporters in Cairo last night claimed they were confident they would return their leader to power.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Technical Author / Multimedia Writer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent