Western Powers Call for Democracy in Egypt as Muslim Brotherhood Threatens Action

Morsi's ouster could result in increased violence in Cairo.

A deadly gunfight erupted in Cairo Friday as thousands of supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi marched on the Republican Guard headquarters. (Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

A deadly gunfight erupted in Cairo Friday as thousands of supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi marched on the Republican Guard headquarters.

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Egypt has become a political and social powder keg as civil unrest spread throughout the hundreds of thousands amassed in Cairo soon after the ouster of their president.

[PHOTOS: Protests in Egypt Heighten]

Multiple media outlets report shots were fired outside a Republican Guard barracks where Mohammed Morsi, the ousted democratically elected leader, is believed to be held. Video footage shows the corpse of a man lying slain on the street after he was reportedly shot by Egyptian troops:

The violence does not appear to be de-escalating as the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi's conservative Islamist Party that spread throughout his government, called on supporters to begin a "Friday of Rage."

The instability is beginning to spill over into parts of the already tense region of the Middle East. Militant political party Hamas, which rules the neighboring Gaza Strip, is reportedly jolted by the ouster of Morsi, a known ally. Morsi's alignment with the conservative Muslim Brotherhood was among the sources of discontent in the Egyptian protesters.

"We are not afraid of losing our cause, no fear that our cause will be absent from the Islamic nation's agenda, despite the difficulties and hard circumstances that sometimes the Islamic nation faces," said Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Friday.

The Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. declined to comment Friday on the situation in Egypt.

The question remains whether the events that have occurred this week amount to a military coup. If overtly so the party, has called on supporters to protest. It has said it will not work with subsequent leadership appointed under military rule and says hardliner supporters should engage in a "Friday of Rage" if the military does not back down.

"We declare our complete rejection of the military coup staged against the elected president and the will of the nation," a spokesman said in a statement. "We refuse to participate in any activities with the usurping authorities."

 

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