Tensions Rise Between Muslim Brotherhood & Egyptian Military

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Seven have been confirmed dead and more than 260 wounded in last night’s violent clashes between Islamists and Egyptian riot police.

The protests began shortly after ifthar — the traditional breaking of the fast during the holy month of Ramadan — when members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood began to move towards the 6 October Bridge in an effort to block off Cairo’s central artery that spans the city.

FRONTLINE correspondents Martin Smith and GlobalPost’s Charles M. Sennott were there to record the scene.

Today Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed El-Beltagy confirmed to FRONTLINE that the Brotherhood organized the march as a “peaceful demonstration” to express their opposition to what he called a “military coup” that removed President Mohamed Morsi on July 3. Morsi has since been detained in an unknown location.

The clashes, along with today’s announcement of a new government that does not include any representatives from the Muslim Brotherhood appear to signal an escalation of tensions between the military and the Islamist movement that last year won both the presidency and control of the Parliament in Egypt’s first free and fair election.

FRONTLINE’s team on the ground will continue its ongoing coverage of the crisis in Egypt, examining the Brotherhood’s rise and fall for a film airing this fall. For up-to-the-minute reporting follow Martin Smith, Chris Fournelle and Charles M. Sennott on Twitter.

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