A bitterly divided Egypt was bracing for further bloodshed last night after supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, pledged to give up their lives rather than disband the protest camp in Cairo where dozens were shot dead in clashes with security forces at the weekend.
Egypt’s Interior Minister vowed to clear the month-long sit-in outside a mosque by members of Mr Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, warning them to “come to their senses” and go home. But Brotherhood leaders said that the thousands of demonstrators, including women and children, were ready to die before giving up their calls for Mr Morsi’s reinstatement.
Gehad El-Haddad, a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman, said Mr Morsi’s supporters had grown more determined after the deaths of at least 72 demonstrators in clashes in the early hours of Saturday. “There are feelings of agony and anger, but also a very strong feeling of determination,” he said. “For us, if we die, we meet our creator and we did so for a just cause. Either we die or we succeed.”