- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 18, 2013

Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour said Thursday that elements in the country want to plunge it into turmoil, and the military issued a stern warning against violence a day before large protests are planned by supporters and opponents of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

There are people “who want this period to be an introduction to violence,” Mr. Mansour said in his first televised address since taking office.

In the brief speech, Mr. Mansour said he is committed to achieving security and stability in Egypt. “We cannot be intimidated by those who are killing the innocent.”

He also praised Egyptians’ ability to overcome adversity and said the revolution on June 30 that led to Mr. Morsi’s ouster was not just about improving living conditions, but also restoring Egypt’s international reputation.

Earlier, Egyptian military spokesman Col. Ahmed Ali warned Egyptians not to resort to violence in large protests called on Friday.

“The armed forces warn not to deviate from peaceful means of expression or resort to violence or vandalism against military facilities … or disrupt public interests,” Col. Ali said. “Whoever resorts to violence and deviates from peacefulness in Friday’s rallies will put his life in danger [and] violators will be dealt with decisively according to the law.”

SEE ALSO: John Kerry: Egypt may have dodged civil war by ousting Mohammed Morsi

Mr. Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, which has denounced his ouster as a military coup, is planning a massive protest Friday to call for his reinstatement. The Islamists have held regular protests in Cairo’s Nasr City district and in other parts of Egypt since his ouster on July 3.

Morsi opponents also have called for a demonstration Friday to celebrate the success of their revolution.

Egyptian authorities are cracking down on the Islamists. The chief prosecutor has issued arrest warrants for Muslim Brotherhood leaders, accusing them of inciting violence, and has frozen their assets.

Human rights group Amnesty International said hundreds of Morsi supporters arrested by authorities have been denied their legal rights.

On July 8, the military fired on and killed 51 pro-Morsi protesters in Cairo. More than 300 people were wounded.

On Tuesday, seven people were killed and more than 200 wounded in a clash between Mr. Morsi’s supporters and the police in Cairo.

Mr. Morsi has been held at an undisclosed location since his ouster. His supporters believe he is being held at the Republican Guard Club in Cairo.

Amnesty International said Egyptian authorities must investigate reports of detainees being beaten and ill-treated near the Republican Guard Club.

• Ashish Kumar Sen can be reached at asen@washingtontimes.com.

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