Cairo: Egypt`s Muslim Brotherhood lashed out on Friday at US Secretary of State John Kerry for saying the Islamist group "stole" the 2011 popular uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak, saying he was twisting facts.
Thousands of Brotherhood supporters took the streets around the country in protests to mark the passage of 100 days since security forces launched a violent crackdown on the group, killing hundreds when they broke up two sit-in camps by backers of ousted president Mohammed Morsi.
Islamists have been holding small, localised protests almost daily to denounce the military`s July 3 removal of Morsi, the country`s first freely elected president. At times, the rallies have swelled to somewhat larger numbers, but the group`s ability to bring out supporters has been crippled by a wave of arrests that has jailed thousands of members.
The military ousted Morsi after massive protests by millions nationwide who demanded his removal after a year in office, accusing him and the Brotherhood of trying to monopolise power. Morsi supporters have accused the military of wrecking the country`s nascent democracy with the coup.
Kerry`s comments about the Brotherhood on Wednesday appeared to be an attempt by Washington to ease tensions with Egypt`s new military-backed government.
After initial US criticism of the coup, many Egyptians have accused the US of siding with the Brotherhood and Morsi.
Kerry said the activists who led 18-day uprising that brought down Mubarak had not been "motivated by religion or ideology." He said hopes for greater freedom and opportunity and an end to corruption was "what drove that revolution. And then it got stolen by the one single-most organised entity in the state, which was the Brotherhood."
In a statement today, the Brotherhood said Kerry was "twisting realities and ignoring facts." It said the Brotherhood "rose to parliament and the presidency through elections" and accused the US of "supporting the military coup ... And ignoring the massacres and oppressive measures that the coup government is carrying out in Egypt."
At least 600 people were killed on August 14 when riot police cleared the two pro-Morsi camps in Cairo`s Rabaah el-Adawiya and Nahda squares.