CAIRO (AP) — There are mass rallies taking place across Egypt today by tens of thousands of backers of the country's military, and supporters of the president who was forced from office by the military.
The rallies come as prosecutors open an investigation of the ousted president, Mohammed Morsi, on charges including murder and conspiracy with the Palestinian militant group Hamas. The announcement is likely to pave the way to a formal indictment. It's the first word on Morsi's legal status since the military deposed him on July 3. For more than three weeks, the Islamist leader has been held by the military in a secret location.
The accusations stem from a prison break during the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak. Gunmen attacked a prison northwest of Cairo, freeing prisoners including Morsi and around 30 other figures from his Muslim Brotherhood. Prosecutors allege that Morsi and the Brotherhood worked with Hamas to carry out the break, in which 14 guards were killed.
The announcement came as massive crowds poured into main squares in Cairo and other cities in support of the military. The army's chief had called for the rallies.
At the same time, crowds of Islamist backers of Morsi gathered at their own rallies. The Brotherhood and its allies had said the demonstrations would be their biggest so far to demand the reinstatement of the president.
118-v-32-(Mark Lavie (lah-VEE'), AP Middle East correspondent)--Egypt's ousted president is being investigated for a jailbreak. More from AP Middle East Correspondent Mark Lavie in Cairo. (26 Jul 2013)
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120-c-15-(Mark Lavie (lah-VEE'), AP Middle East correspondent)-"support their rule"-AP Middle East Correspondent Mark Lavie in Cairo reports Egypt's deposed president may be charged with collaborating with the Palestinian Hamas. (26 Jul 2013)
<<CUT *120 (07/26/13)££ 00:15 "support their rule"
APPHOTO XHK116: Demonstrators against Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans during a protest by the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, July 26, 2013. Political allies of Egypt's military lined up behind its call for huge rallies Friday to show support for the country's top general, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, pushing toward a collision with Islamist opponents who are also rallying to demand the return of Mohammed Morsi, the nation's ousted president. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) (26 Jul 2013)
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APPHOTO NM105: A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi holds an umbrella to protect her from the sun during a protest near Cairo University in Giza, Egypt, Friday, July 26, 2013. Egyptian prosecutors accused Morsi on Friday of conspiring with the Palestinian militant group Hamas and murder in his 2011 escape from prison that left 14 guards dead. The development fueled the likelihood of clashes as tens of thousands of supporters and opponents of the Islamist leader massed for rival rallies. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty) (26 Jul 2013)
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