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Returning to Cairo — and an Egypt divided

The military's reassertion of power over the Muslim Brotherhood has polarized Egypt. GlobalPost's Charles Sennott returns to Cairo during a particularly turbulent time.
Morsi supporters military July 2013Enlarge
A supporter of Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi is held back by riot policemen during a rally on the road leading to Cairo's Tahrir Square on July 17, 2013. Egypt's new government is faced with a raft of daunting challenges including restoring security as angry loyalists of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi rallied against the military-backed administration. (Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images)

Deadly clashes that killed seven and wounded more than 260 on Monday night are the product of an increasingly divided Egypt, two weeks after the military intervened against President Mohamed Morsi to the outrage of the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters.

On Wednesday, thousands of Morsi supporters gathered in Cairo for a "Day of Steadfastness" after the military formed an interim cabinet that included no Brotherhood members while Morsi remains under arrest at an unknown location.

GlobalPost co-founder and editor-at-large Charles Sennott is currently on the ground in Cairo with PBS FRONTLINE working on a new film that will air in the fall. The team includes FRONTLINE's Martin Smith, Tim Grucza, Rachel Beth Anderson and Chris Fournelle, as well as former "Egypt: Covering a Revolution" reporting fellows Mohannad Sabry and Ahmed Ateyya. 

Watch Violent Unrest in Egypt Leaves More Dead and Injured on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

RAY SUAREZ: Which are the different factions that are out on the street? With Egyptians taking to the street to say what is on their mind, what are the main divisions?

CHARLES SENNOTT: Well, we were with the Muslim Brotherhood today at the Rab'a mosque, which has become their headquarters.

And there we talked to a lot of the Muslim Brotherhood leadership who said they organized the marches last night on the 6 October Bridge which is the central artery that runs through Cairo. And they say very openly that they are organizing these marches as a way to protest what they see as a military coup.

They say that the elected President Morsi was detained by the military, is kept in an undisclosed location, and that he is the legitimate president, and that they are going to keep up the street demonstrations until his presidency is restored and he is released.

The other side here is harder to define. It's much broader. And it's represented by millions of people who took to the streets on June 30 demanding that President Morsi call early elections or resign. That group includes people who used to be with the Muslim Brotherhood, who voted for Morsi, who are sort of a wide collection, mostly of liberals of a sort of more secular side of society.

The upcoming FRONTLINE film is the second that Sennott has worked on in Egypt. In 2011 he produced a segment called "The Brothers" focused on the Muslim Brotherhood as part of an episode called "Revolution in Cairo" that featured members of the April 6th Youth Movement.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/groundtruth/returning-cairo-and-egypt-divided

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