BBC News with Charles Carlo
Two leading figures in Egypt who backed the army’s ousting of the Islamist president Mohamed Morsi have condemned the killing of a large number of his supporters in clashes with security forces in the capital Cairo. The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar mosque has called for investigation while the vice president of the interim government Mohamed EIBaradei said that excessive force was used. The Egyptian ministry of health says at least 65 people were killed after the security forces had been ordered to end the sit-in organized by the Muslim Brotherhood at the Rabaa al-Adawia mosque. Jim Muir reports.
Tens of thousands of Morsi’s supporters and their families remain stubbornly in count in the big area around the Rabaa al-Adawia mosque in eastern Cairo. Despite what they are calling a massacre in the early hours of the mourning they are absolutely adamant that they are going nowhere until their key demand is met: the reinstatement of Mohamed Morsi as president. That’s clearly out of the question for the interim government and its military backers. They’ve indicated they intend to clear out the protesters soon peacefully if possible.
The American secretary of state John Kerry has expressed deep concern over the latest violence in Egypt. In a statement he described the situation as a pivotal moment for the country and called on the Egyptian authorities to respect the right of peaceful assembly. Katy Watson reports from Washington.
It was a strongly worded statement underlining what it called Egyptian authorities’ moral and legal obligation to respect freedom of expression. And Mr. Kerry urged an independent inquiry into the events of the past 24 hours. The statement went on to say that all of Egypt’s leaders need to act immediately to help the country take a step back from the brink.
A mass jailbreak has taken place from a prison in Libya. It happened in the early hours of Saturday morning at the al-Kwafiya prison in the eastern city of Benghazi. The prisoners include a small number thought to be supporters of Libya’s former ruler Colonel Gaddafi. Rana Jawad reports.
The al-Kwafiya prison on the southern outskirts of Benghazi is known as the biggest facility of its kind there. 1,200 prisoners are known to have escaped. A security spokesman in Benghazi told the BBC that some had been captured but he didn’t specify how many. In a news conference the Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said the al-Kwafiya jailbreak happened as residents in the area stormed the prison protesting against its existence in their district. Most of the inmates in that prison are convicted of serious crimes and they also include a small number of people thought to be supporters of Libya’s former ruler Muammar Gaddafi.
Police in Tunisia have fired teargas to disperse thousands of demonstrators outside the country’s parliament in Tunis. Rival secular and Islamist protesters had gathered following the state funeral of the secular politician Mohamed Brahmi who was assassinated on Thursday.
World News from the BBC
The top trade union leader in South Africa has categorically rejected rape allegations against him and accused the female colleague who’s made them of extortion. Zwelinzima Vavi called the allegations part of efforts to destroy him. Here is Gabriel Gatehouse.
Documents posted on the Cosatu website show what purport to be transcript of text messages between Mr. Vavi and his female accuser dating back to January this year. In one the woman writes: that was not consensual. Mr. Vavi responds: you are so wrong. The documents also include an apparent demand for payment of 2million rand, around 200,000 dollars. Zwelinzima Vavi has denied the accusation of rape which he says is part of plot to unseat him as general secretary of Cosatu, South Africa’s most powerful trade union federation.
A car bomb has exploded near a Turkish embassy building in the Somali capital Mogadishu. At least three people were killed among them a Turkish police officer guarding the building and at least one of the attackers. The Islamist group al-Shabab said it carried out the attack. It has in the past targeted Turkish institutions which it says are spreading secularism. Turkey has been an active supporter of the Somali government.
Polls have closed in the Gulf emirate of Kuwait where people have been voting in the second parliamentary election in less than a year. The turnout which should’ve been low throughout the day picked up in the last few hours as people broke their Ramadan fast and the extreme temperature dropped slightly. First results are expected shortly.
Police in Lithuania have arrested over two dozen protesters who tried to disrupt the country’s first gay pride rally in the capital Vilnius. Several hundred gay rights activists marched through the city streets before holding a rally in a park. The protesters tried to storm the stage but were blocked by police on horseback. In 2010 Lithuanian officials banned a similar march from taking place.
And that’s the latest BBC News