Seventeen killed in Egypt clashes on ‘Friday of rage’
Thousands demonstrate against removal of Muslim Brotherhood president Morsi
A military helicopter flies over Tahrir Square in Cairo this evening as clashes continued today between members of the Muslim Brotherhood and those opposed to the rule of ousted president Mohamed Morsi. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi march near Cairo University after Friday prayers today. Photograph: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters
A videograb image of a protester injured today during demonstrations in Egypt.
Supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi carry an injured man during clashes outside the Republican Guard building in Cairo today. Photograph: Louafi Larbi/Reuters
Seventeen people were killed in violence in Egypt today as supporters of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi protested his overthrow by the army, state television said, quoting Health Ministry data. It gave no details.
A Health Ministry official earlier said six people had been killed in clashes around the country involving opponents and backers of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, as well as security forces.
Khaled el-Khatib said four people have been killed in Cairo and two elsewhere, with 180 wounded.
Security forces had shot dead at least three supporters of the deposed president today as a crowd of hundreds tried to march towards the military barracks in Cairo where he is being held by the military that overthrew him.
Thousands of Morsi supporters demonstrated in cities across the country on what his Muslim Brotherhood called a “Friday of rage” against what they describe as a military coup that toppled Egypt’s first elected leader a year after he took office.
A witness told Reuters he saw several people fall to the ground, wounded by shotgun pellets. Security sources told Reuters at least three demonstrators were killed when security forces opened fire.
Thousands of Islamists also took to the streets of Alexandria and Assiut to protest against the army’s overthrow of Mr Morsi and reject a planned interim government backed by their liberal opponents.
In the Suez city of Ismailia, soldiers fired into the air as Morsi supporters tried to break into the governor’s office. The Islamists retreated and there were no casualties, security sources said.
Egypt’s liberal coalition issued an “urgent call” for its supporters to take to the streets in response to Islamist protests, raising the risk of clashes between the rival groups.
In Damanhour, capital of the Beheira province in the Nile Delta, 21 people were wounded in violence between the factions.
Ehab el-Ghoneimy, manager of the Damanhour general hospital, said three people had been wounded with live bullets, while others were injured by birdshot, rocks, or they had been hit with rods.
Hoda Ghaneya, a leading female figure in the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) political arm, said she and two of her sons accompanying her at a Cairo rally after Friday prayers were ready to sacrifice themselves to the cause.
“We will die not as a sacrifice for Morsi, but so the Egyptian people recover their freedom,” she told Reuters near the Rabaa Adaweya mosque in a Cairo suburb that has been the centre of Islamist protests in the last few days.