The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

January 29, 2013

Egypt army chief warns state could collapse

(Continued)

"My children told me not to vote for him," she said. "I thought he was a faithful man who knows God. But he turned out to be not faithful and he doesn't know God. I made a big mistake."

The city now feels under siege. Shops are closed. Fearing the violence, trucks have stopped bringing in produce. Drivers refused to bring in oxygen supplies for a private hospital after their truck came under fire by unknown assailants, a worker at the hospital said. The city is awash with weapons and known criminals are seen on motorcycles brandishing automatic weapons.

Seaside hotels are totally empty during a mid-year school holiday when normally they are full of Egyptian tourists. Soot, shattered glass and burnt furniture are scattered outside police and army clubs which are located in front of the cemetery where slain protesters were buried and which were attacked by protesters.

Tuesday evening, Morsi's office issued a statement saying the curfew and state of emergency could be lifted or shortened if the security situation improves, apparently trying to ease the anger.

Throughout the crisis, presidential officials and the Brotherhood have depicted the unrest as caused by thugs and supporters of Mubarak's regime — and they have suggested that the political opposition is using the turmoil to overturn the results of elections that Islamists have repeatedly won the past year, bringing them to power.

The opposition contends the crisis is caused by Brotherhood attempts to monopolize power and can only be resolved if it makes major concessions to loosen its grip, including forming a national unity government and rewriting contentious parts of the Islamist-backed constitution.

The Brotherhood has dismissed those demands, and Morsi has instead invited the opposition to join a broad dialogue conference. The opposition has refused it as mere window dressing.

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