Egypt Clashes After Army Fire Kills Morsi Supporters




 

 

 

 

 

 

 Egypt Clash

 

Supporters and opponents of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi have clashed hours after three pro-Morsi protesters were killed by fire.

The rival groups hurled fireworks and stones at each other across a bridge near Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

There were also clashes in other cities. At least 12 people have been killed and 318 hurt around the country.

The removed Mr Morsi from power on Wednesday after millions of people protested over his leadership.

The Tamarod [Rebel] movement – which organised recent anti-Morsi protests – accused him of pursuing an Islamist agenda against the wishes most Egyptians, and of failing to tackle economic problems.

Anger and passion

After Friday Prayers, Islamist supporters of Mr Morsi staged a series of marches across Cairo – including outside Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque where tens of thousands massed.

The scenario many had feared has materialised. There have been running battles in Cairo between those who oppose Mohammed Morsi and those who support him.

Through the day the Muslim Brotherhood crowds that gathered across the city had been largely peaceful. We followed protesters as they marched to the Republican Guard Officers’ Club.

Earlier in the day pro-Morsi demonstrators had been killed there, but by late afternoon things had settled into a stand-off between soldiers and thousands of protesters.

But a separate crowd of Morsi supporters decided to march on the state TV building. We were with them as they stood only a few hundred metres away from the anti-Morsi crowds in Tahrir Square.

It was almost inevitable that clashes between the two groups would ensue. This is the first big security test for the since their takeover of the country.

Tensions escalated when a crowd advanced on the nearby headquarters of the Republican Guard, where Mr Morsi is believed to be held.

Troops then opened fire on crowds. Three people were killed and dozens wounded, including the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen whose head was grazed by shotgun pellets.

In the evening, tens of thousands of supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood – to whom Mr Morsi belongs – filled the square near the mosque, as well as nearby streets.

The Brotherhood’s supreme leader, Mohammed Badie, told the crowd: “We shall stay in the squares until we bring President Morsi back to power.”

He said their protests would remain peaceful and called on the army not to “direct your arms against us”.

Shortly afterwards, Brotherhood supporters surged across the 6th October Bridge over the Nile river, towards Tahrir Square where anti-Morsi protesters were gathered.

A car was set on fire and stones and fireworks were thrown. Supporters on both sides armed themselves with batons, bits of woods and bottles, our correspondent said.

Some time later, witnesses described tanks arriving at the bridge to separate the clashing protesters.

The BBC’s Kevin Connolly in Cairo says there is anger and passion on both sides – as well as a determination to win a battle for the streets which is making the capital a dangerous and volatile place.

‘Glorious revolution’ .

In Qina in the south, troops opened fire on pro-Morsi activists trying to storm a security building. At least two people were injured.

Firing was also reported in Alexandria in the north, ’s second-largest city, and in the canal city of Ismailiya.

Ahead of Friday’s protests, the army command said it would not take “arbitrary measures against any faction or political current” and would guarantee the right to protest, as long as demonstrations did not threaten national security.

“Peaceful protest and freedom of expression are rights guaranteed to everyone, which Egyptians have earned as one of the most important gains of their glorious revolution,” it said.

On Thursday the head of ’s constitutional , Adly Mahmud Mansour, was sworn in as interim head of state, and he promised to hold elections soon.

On Friday Mr Mansour dissolved the upper house – or Shura Council – which had been dominated by Morsi supporters and had served as sole legislative body after the lower house was dissolved last year.

Mr Mansour also appointed a new intelligence chief, Mohamed Ahmed Farid.

BBC

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