Egyptian cleric warns of cycle of bloodshed

Published 10:31 am Thursday, August 1, 2013

CAIRO — An influential ultraconservative Egyptian cleric has warned that using violence to break up sit-in protests by supporters of the ousted president will lead to more bloodshed.

The emotional address by a tearful Mohammed Haasan comes as Egyptian authorities have offered “safe passage and protection” for the thousands of protesters if they leave the protest camps in Cairo.

Haasan warned the military that a bloody confrontation would plunge it into conflict with the country’s Islamists.

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The military ousted the Islamist Mohammed Morsi in a July 3 coup after days of mass protests by millions of Egyptians demanding that he step down. Morsi’s supporters have been staging marathon sit-in protests at two locations in Cairo.

Haasan’s appeal was aired Thursday by Al-Jazeera.