Qatar concerned over continued bloodshed in Egypt: QNA

DUBAI Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:24pm EDT

A soldier (R) tries to protect a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi during clash with anti-Mursi protesters, along Qasr Al Nil bridge, which leads to Tahrir Square, in Cairo July 22, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

A soldier (R) tries to protect a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi during clash with anti-Mursi protesters, along Qasr Al Nil bridge, which leads to Tahrir Square, in Cairo July 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Qatar, a main supporter of Mohamed Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, expressed concern over bloodshed in Egypt after at least nine people died in clashes between supporters and opponents of the ousted president, the QNA state news agency reported on Tuesday.

The agency said the Qatari Foreign Ministry source also expressed concern over the continued detention of Mursi since the army forced him out of office earlier this month.

Mursi has been held at an undisclosed military facility since the army deposed him on July 3 and suspended the constitution in the wake of street protests against his one-year rule. The army says he is being held for his own safety.

"A responsible source at the Qatari Foreign Ministry expressed his concern over the development of events in sisterly Arab Republic of Egypt, especially after the increasing number of civilian victims," QNA said.

The source also expressed surprise at the continued holding of Mursi since he was ousted earlier this month and said the only way out of the crisis was through dialogue.

"This dialogue is not possible in the absence of one of its parties and the holding of its symbols," it added, referring to Mursi.

Most Gulf Arab states, wary of the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood on Islamists in their own countries, have welcomed the army's ouster of Mursi. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait swiftly offered Egypt $12 billion in aid.

But the army's move unsettled Qatar, which had previously given Egypt $7 billion in aid before Mursi's ouster.

Qatar has seen massive leadership change after the country's ruler for 18 years, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani stepped down in favor of his son, Sheikh Tamim. The leadership change also involved veteran Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani to step down.

(Reporting by Ali Abdelaty; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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