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Egypt PM warns protesters, says fears violence

Source: Reuters - Fri, 21 Jun 2013 22:59 GMT
Author: Reuters
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CAIRO, June 21 (Reuters) - Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil said on Friday the government was taking security precautions ahead of opposition demonstrations scheduled for June 30 and he was concerned by what he said were calls for violence.

Speaking in a midnight television interview after the Muslim Brotherhood staged a rally in Cairo to show its strength behind President Mohamed Mursi, Kandil said peaceful protests would be protected but warned that no one was above the law.

Mursi and the Brotherhood have turned their organisational prowess into electoral success since the 2011 revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak, but a diverse opposition coalition now hopes to force Mursi to resign by demonstrating en masse on the first anniversary of his inauguration on June 30.

"What we hear in terms of calls for violence here and there worries me a lot," Kandil said. "We are preparing for June 30 in terms of security and by raising awareness among the people so they commit to peaceful demonstrations.

"Since the revolution, the only way to deal with peaceful protesters is to protect them."

But Kandil warned that anyone who acted outside of the law would face penalties and made clear that the Islamists will not give in to the power of the street, insisting on the democratic legitimacy of the administration: "Real change comes through the polling station," Kandil said. (Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Alastair Macdonald)

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