Egypt extends Morsi's detainment

The country's prosecution ordered the deposed president to remain in prison for 30 more days

Former President Mohamed Morsi has been in custody since July 3.
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Egypt's prosecution ordered a 30-day extension for former president Mohamed Morsi's detainment on Friday. Thousands of his supporters to to the streets to protest the move, and some of the demonstrations turned violent.

Morsi is accused of conspiring with Hamas to break into prisons and attack state institutions, as well as involvement in murder and attempted murder during the January 2011 revolt against Hosni Mubarak's regime.

Before ascending to power in 2012, Morsi and other Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested by police on Jan. 28, 2011, during the 18-day popular uprising. Two days later, Morsi and other prisoners escaped after armed men stormed the prison where they were detained.

Morsi was referred to trial two weeks ago on charges of inciting violence on Dec. 5 of last year when his supporters and opponents clashed at the presidential palace over a constitutional declaration -- leaving at least nine people dead.

The prosecution also ordered a 30-day extension of the detainment of Morsi's former chief of staff, Mohamed Refaa al-Tahtawi, over the same accusations.

In response to the prosecution's detainment extension, thousands of the deposed president's supporters took to the streets in what appeared to be larger demonstrations than usual, with several descending into violence.

In the coastal city of Alexandria, hundreds of Brotherhood supporters marched after Friday prayers from a main mosque to a major thoroughfare, where they confronted a rally by Morsi opponents. State television showed footage of anti-Morsi protesters tearing down Morsi posters and chasing Brotherhood supporters through the streets.

Authorities said the two sides hurled stones at each other as gunshots rang out. Security forces broke up the melee by firing tear gas and arresting a number of protesters, according to The Associated Press.

Morsi has been in military custody since he was ousted by the military on July 3 after massive rallies marking his first anniversary in power.

Outraged by the coup, Muslim Brotherhood members and other Morsi supporters staged sit-ins that lasted for weeks until security authorities violently dispersed them, resulting in nearly 1,000 deaths and thousands of arrests. 

State of emergency extended

Egypt's interim president has extended a nationwide state of emergency by two months, citing security conditions.

The state of emergency, which gives security forces greater powers of arrest, was declared nearly a month ago after authorities cleared two pro-Morsi encampments and was due to expire days after the extension's announcement on Thursday.

A nighttime curfew has also been in effect in much of the country since the August declaration. The government will decide separately whether to continue the curfew.

The extension of the state of emergency was widely expected, and the decree cited continued security concerns.

Scattered protests by Morsi supporters continue nearly daily, and the government says it faces an organized violent campaign to destabilize the country.

Al Jazeera

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