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Mourning and anger in Egypt

Monday, October 10, 2011 - 03:37

Oct. 10 - Thousands of mourners attend a funeral ceremony for those killed in overnight clashes as grief turns to anger towards Egypt's military rulers. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Mourning the dead in Egypt. Egyptian Christians head to the Coptic Catherdral of St. Marks in Cairo after at least 25 people were killed when troops crushed a protest after an attack on a church. It was the worst violence since the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. Mourning turns to anger focussed on the army -- which is coming under fire from across the political spectrum for not giving a clear timetable for handing power to civilians. Tension between Muslims and minority Coptic Christians has simmered for years but has worsened since the anti-Mubarak revolt which has allowed the emergence of strict Islamist groups that the former president had repressed. Now political figures in Cairo are warning that Egypt was on the brink of a major clash. Presidential Candidate, Amr Moussa SOUNDBITE: Presidential Candidate, Amr Moussa, saying (Arabic): "This is a crisis of great proportions, it could end in civil clashes, and could lead to dire consequences. There must be procedures; we are talking about an immediate fact-finding committee with immediate results and it is imperative that this matter does not happen again. Because this time we are on the brink of a major clash; not just in Maspeero (Egypt TV building) but also in other places in Egypt. Therefore, many of us see that democracy is the solution, it is the cure; not immediate decisions that are taken with no one knowing anything about." The clashes add to the growing frustration of pro-democracy activists with the generals who took over from Mubarak. Many Egyptians suspect the army wants to wield power from behind the scenes even as it hands day-to-day government to civilians. The ruling army council denies this. SOUNDBITE: Political Science Professor at Cairo University Amr Hamzawy, saying (Arabic): "It is a call to all political movements and national powers to focus on the importance of a speedy transition of power to civilians. Whether this transition is in the form of a Civil, Presidential committee or in any other form. But the country can no longer tolerate the current situation, which is the sharing of power between the Supreme council of the Armed Forces, the Cabinet of Ministers and civilians. It is over." Christians took to the streets after blaming Muslim radicals for partially demolishing a church in Aswan province last week. The violence casts a shadow over Egypt's first parliamentary poll since Mubarak fell, with voting due to start on Nov. 28. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.

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Mourning and anger in Egypt

Monday, October 10, 2011 - 03:37