Egypt Brotherhood leader demands Morsi reinstated

Egypt Brotherhood leader demands Morsi reinstated

CAIRO - Reuters
Egypt Brotherhood leader demands Morsi reinstated

The Muslim Brotherhood's General Guide Mohamed Badie speaks onstage as military helicopters fly overhead before tens of thousands of supporters in Cairo, Egypt, July 5 - his first in public since president Mohamed Morsi's ouster. AP photo

The leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, told a protest rally today that he was ready to reach an understanding with the armed forces - but only after the movement's Mohamed Morsi was reinstated as president. 

Badie's speech came hours after at least three protesters were shot dead outside the Republican Guard barracks in Cairo, where Morsi is being held, after his supporters confronted the troops.

As a military helicopter hovered low over the crowd, Badie called on the army not to fire on its own people and said that demonstrations were stronger than tanks. 

"Our bear chests are stronger than bullets," he said.

He also vowed to remain mobilized in the next days.  "Millions will remain in the squares until we carry our elected president, Mohamed Morsi, on our shoulders," Badie said. The ousted president has been in military custody since his overthrow on July 3. 

Moments before his appearance, the Brotherhood denied that Badie was detained, as claimed by security forces.

The prosecutor's office ordered Badie's arrest on July 4 following the overthrow by the military of President Mohamed Morsi, a Brotherhood member.  

The rally, near a mosque in suburban Cairo, was attended by thousands of Islamist supporters. 

Essam El-Erian, the deputy leader of the Brotherhood's political wing, told the crowd the movement rejected Mursi's removal and would not deal with the new, military-backed authority: "We will never accept this coup against legitimacy," he said. "No honourable person will deal with this."