Egyptian cabinet debating fate of Muslim Brotherhood

Updated

CAIRO - Egypt’s deputy prime minister will propose a way out of a bloody confrontation between the security forces and the Muslim Brotherhood of deposed president Mohammed Morsi when the cabinet discusses the crisis on Sunday.

But his ideas seemed to run counter to a suggestion by the prime minister to dissolve the Islamist organization, the target of a fierce crackdown by the army-backed government last week.

The authorities declared a state of emergency and killed hundreds of people in raids on Wednesday on protest camps set up in Cairo to demand Morsi’s reinstatement.

The capital’s frenetic streets, unusually empty in the past few days, were returning to normal on Sunday, although the army kept several big squares closed and enforced a curfew overnight.

At night, soldiers standing beside armored personnel carriers man checkpoints, and vigilantes inspect cars for weapons.

Clashes flared briefly on Saturday when Morsi supporters exchanged fire with security forces in a central Cairo mosque, where scores of Muslim Brotherhood protesters had sought refuge from confrontations with police the day before.

Police finally cleared the building and made a string of arrests, with crowds on the street cheering them on and harassing foreign reporters trying to cover the scene.

“We as Egyptians feel deep bitterness towards coverage of the events in Egypt,” presidential political adviser Mostafa Hegazy said, accusing Western media of ignoring attacks on police and the destruction of churches blamed on Islamists.

The initiative by Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa el-Din, a liberal, calls for an immediate end to the state of emergency, political participation for all parties and guarantees of human rights, including the right to free assembly.

The Brotherhood has said it will keep up mass protests until Morsi, toppled by the army on July 3 after huge demonstrations against him, is freed from jail and returned to office.

It was not clear how much support Bahaa el-Din’s proposal, seen by Reuters, could gain among the new leaders of a deeply polarized Arab republic experiencing the worst bout of bloodshed and internecine conflict in its six-decade history.

For more information on the developing situation in Egypt visit NBCnews.com.

Egyptian cabinet debating fate of Muslim Brotherhood

Updated