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Egypt government may disband Muslim Brotherhood as protests continue

Egypt's interim government is considering disbanding the Muslim Brotherhood group. Supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi are calling for further protest.

The spokesman of Egypt's interim Cabinet announced on Saturday that Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi had assigned the Ministry of Social Solidarity to study the legal possibilities of dissolving the Muslim Brotherhood.

Founded in 1928, the Brotherhood came to power a year ago when Mohammed Morsi was elected in the country's first free presidential elections. He was overthrown by the army on July 3.

In ongoing protests at the removal of the Morsi government, the son of Mohammed Badie, the fugitive leader of the Brotherhood, was killed during fighting in Cairo's Ramses Square on Friday.

The interim government reported that a total of 173 people, 95 of them in Cairo, had died in fighting on Friday.

Hundreds of people were reported to remain inside the Al-Fath mosque in Ramses Square on Saturday. It was not known how many - and if they were Muslim Brotherhood or pro-Morsi supporters. Some reports indicated that there were dead and injured inside the mosque.

Police were reportedly in control of the exits. International television footage showed hundreds of civilians - believed to be anti-Morsi demonstrators - outside the mosque. Sporadic gunshots had been heard since early morning.

Watch video 01:01

Cairo mosque protest

State television reported that Morsi supporters had scaled the mosque's minaret and fired at security forces surrounding the site, who then returned the fire.

Live footage on local television stations showed some individuals leaving the mosque escorted by security personnel.

Police said they had also arrested 1,004 people, mainly Brotherhood followers, suspected of involvement in Friday's violence. This week, the government authorized police to use firearms in self-defense and against demonstrators who attacked state buildings.

The Brotherhood has announced that it would hold daily protests next week against the military-backed government.

jm/mkg (Reuters, AP, AFP)

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