Egypt has charged ousted President Mohammed Morsi with murder, espionage, and collaborating with Hamas. The charges sparked a new round of riots and clashes that have killed over 100 people and wounded thousands more.
Morsi has been in the custody of the Egyptian army since he was overthrown on July 3. But the charges revealed late on Friday escalated tensions between supporters and anti-Morsi groups to a frightening level.
Running battles took place all over Cairo with more than 100 people killed at a protest held by supporters of the former Egyptian president, reports the BBC.
A doctor working at a field hospital reported that more than 1,000 people were injured. Both sides held protests all night long as thousands of anti-Morsi supporters gathered in Tahrir Square to show their support for the country’s army.
The Los Angeles Times adds that a court ordered Morsi detained for 15 days on the charges while investigators look into them. The charges allege that the former Egyptian president conspired with Hamas in 2011 to break him out of jail and attack police stations. They reportedly set fire to one prison and allowed inmates, including Morsi, to flee.
The charges stem from Morsi’s prison escape during the last Egyptian uprising, which toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak. The accusations against Mohammed Morsi have made their rounds in the country’s judiciary circles for months, but were only brought to light this week.
The large-scale clashes in Egypt on Saturday may have been the result of an effort by the army to end a sit in at the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in support of the ousted leader. Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim had earlier vowed to end the sit-in.
Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el-Haddad reported of the fighting, “They are not shooting to wound, they are shooting to kill.” While no army uniforms were spotted shooting, BBC News Middle East Correspondent Quentin Sommerville reported on Twitter that there was suspicion security forces dressed as civilians during the fighting. However, it was not confirmed.
There is no telling what the widespread implications of the charges against Mohammed Morsi will be.
[Image via Twitter]