Following clashes on Monday that killed 51 people and injured hundreds outside of Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo, Egyptian authorities on Wednesday issued arrest warrants for Muslim Brotherhood leaders on charges they incited the violence.
Charges were announced against Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie, his deputy Mahmoud Ezzat, party leaders Mohamed el-Beltagy and Essam El-Erian, and six other party officials, according to Al-Jazeera.
Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad accused Egyptian authorities of attempting to break up a demonstration by supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi taking place at Rabaa al-Daweya Square in northeast Cairo, the Daily Star reports.
The move by prosecutors is "nothing more than an attempt by the police state to dismantle the Rabaa protest,” he said.
At least some of the leaders wanted by the authorities are at the demonstration and would likely be protected by the throngs of supporters that have gathered around the Rabaa al-Daweya mosque.
Speaking to the people gathered at the pro-Morsi demonstration on Tuesday evening, Assem Abdel Maged, leader of the Egyptian Sunni Islamist group Jama'a al-Islamiya, announced a national campaign to collect 40 million signatures demanding Morsi’s reinstatement, Egypt Independent reports.
Morsi became the first Islamist to be elected to office; he won 51.7 percent of the vote. Morsi quickly consolidated power in a series of controversial moves that led law scholar and diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei, who became the country’s acting vice president by appointment on Tuesday, to call him Egypt’s “new pharaoh.”
Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi, who was appointed by acting President Adly Mansour on Tuesday, is finalizing his cabinet, according to Ahram online. The current ministers of defense, interior and foreign affairs would remain.
On Wednesday, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said that Morsi is in a safe location and that there are no charges against him.