Morsi foes, supporters rally in Egypt as prosecutors probe ousted president

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CAIRO (AP) — There are mass rallies taking place across Egypt today by tens of thousands of backers of the country’s military, and supporters of the president who was forced from office by the military.

Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi hold pictures of him and chant slogans during a protest at Nasr City, where protesters have installed their camp and hold their daily rally, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, July 26, 2013. Arabic writing reads, "Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, and Sissi, you thief, where is my vote?" (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Supporters of Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi hold pictures of him and chant slogans during a protest at Nasr City, where protesters have installed their camp and hold their daily rally, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, July 26, 2013. Arabic writing reads, “Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, and Sissi, you thief, where is my vote?” (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

The rallies come as prosecutors open an investigation of the ousted president, Mohammed Morsi, on charges including murder and conspiracy with the Palestinian militant group Hamas. The announcement is likely to pave the way to a formal indictment. It’s the first word on Morsi’s legal status since the military deposed him on July 3. For more than three weeks, the Islamist leader has been held by the military in a secret location.

The accusations stem from a prison break during the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak. Gunmen attacked a prison northwest of Cairo, freeing prisoners including Morsi and around 30 other figures from his Muslim Brotherhood. Prosecutors allege that Morsi and the Brotherhood worked with Hamas to carry out the break, in which 14 guards were killed.

The announcement came as massive crowds poured into main squares in Cairo and other cities in support of the military. The army’s chief had called for the rallies.

At the same time, crowds of Islamist backers of Morsi gathered at their own rallies. The Brotherhood and its allies had said the demonstrations would be their biggest so far to demand the reinstatement of the president.

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