Citing Snipers, Brotherhood Calls Off Rally

Defense minister says 'we will not stand by'

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 18, 2013 11:16 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Muslim Brotherhood today canceled a massive protest against Egypt's military, saying the move was prompted by "the presence of army snipers" positioned along the planned route in the streets of Cairo. Another protest march to the Supreme Constitutional Court was to go forward, reports al-Jazeera, and security there was already heightened. It's another tumultuous day in Egypt; a look around at the latest:

  • Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi spoke publicly for the first time since Wednesday's crackdown, saying, "We will not stand by silently watching the destruction of the country and the people or the torching the nation and terrorizing the citizens." He denied the military sought power, notes the AP, but said it has "the honor to protect the people's will—which is much dearer (than) ruling Egypt."

  • The official death toll has hit 830, Reuters reports, citing state media. That number includes 79 people yesterday.
  • Egypt's interim Cabinet is meeting, reports the BBC, and a decision on whether to ban the Brotherhood is expected.
  • Meanwhile, security forces are targeting members of the Brotherhood in an attempt to de-claw protests, and carried out raids this morning that detained some 300 officials.
  • Mohamed ElBaradei, who last week resigned as vice president in protest of the crackdown, left the country today. He headed for Vienna.

A son of Ammar Badie, 38, killed Friday by Egyptian forces, and son of Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader Mohammed Badie, prays during his funeral in Cairo, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013.   (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)
A friend of Ammar Badie, 38, killed Friday by Egyptian security forces, cries while attending his burial in Cairo's Katameya district, Egypt, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013.   (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)
A friend of Ammar Badie, 38, killed Friday by Egyptian forces, shouts "Allah is the greatest," while attending his burial in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013.   (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)
The mother of Ammar Badie, 38, killed Friday by Egyptian security forces, mourns while attending his burial in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013.   (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)
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