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Egypt Public Turns Against Pro-Morsi Demonstrators as Congress Moves to Maintain Assistance

Congress has faced intermittent pressure to respond to the Egyptian army’s moves against former president Mohammed Morsi by halting U.S. aid to Egypt. The House of Representatives today unveiled a draft spending bill declining to respond to those calls and keeping foreign aid at $1.3 billion.

Meanwhile the Egyptian military has been struggling to restore order to the country. Demonstrations in favor of Morsi continue to be linked to violence both in the country’s cities and in the increasingly anarchic Sinai Peninsula. At least nine people were killed today in violence surrounding the demonstrations in Cairo. Aother two were killed in the Sinai Peninsula.

The New York Times described the chaos: 

On Monday and Tuesday, the former president’s supporters and unidentified opponents fought running battles with firearms, bottles and rocks near Tahrir Square in Cairo and on the edges of two protest sites that have been held by Mr. Morsi’s Islamist supporters for weeks. The confrontations have escalated as the Islamists have broadened their demonstrations, marching in cities across the country as part of a determined but so far fruitless effort to restore Mr. Morsi to power.

Meanwhile a public opinion poll published by the Baseera research center found broad opposition [PDF] to the demonstrators protesting in favor of Morsi:

Egyptian Public Opinion Research Center “Baseera” conducted a public opinion poll about the extent of Egyptians’ sympathy towards the demonstrations in support of former president Mohammed Morsi, currently underway in some of Egypt’s Squares, and in particular the capital Cairo. The poll results indicated that 20% of Egyptians sympathize with the demonstrations, compared to 71% who do not, while 9% said they are not sure.

[Photo: AlJazeeraEnglish / Youtube]