CAIRO — The family of Egypt’s ousted president lashed out at the military on Monday, accusing the generals of kidnapping Mohammed Morsi, who has been detained incommunicado in an unknown location for nearly three weeks.
New violence erupted around protests by Morsi supporters demanding his reinstatement, killing at least four people. Pro-Morsi protesters marched near Cairo’s Tahrir Square and battled with Morsi opponents camped out in the square, trading stones and gunfire, while further clashes erupted in Qalioub.
The statement by Morsi’s family at a Cairo press conference underlined the unknown fate of Egypt’s first freely elected president. Morsi has not been seen and has had no known contact with lawyers, family, or supporters since the military ousted him on July 3 after mass protests nationwide demanding his removal.
Since his ouster, the Islamist leader has become a tool for both sides. The new military-backed government has used Morsi to put pressure on his Muslim Brotherhood, launching criminal investigations without actually bringing charges against him.
Government officials have said only that he is safe, is well cared for, and is being held for his own protection.
The Brotherhood, in turn, has sought to drum up sympathy by saying Morsi’s detention shows the military’s coup is taking the country into dictatorship, as it tries to expand street protests demanding he be reinstated as president.
Several hundred Islamists on Monday tried to march toward the US Embassy, passing near Tahrir Square. The clashes with Morsi foes blocked their march.