At least 120 were killed and some 4,500 injured when Egyptian troops opened fire on deposed President Mohammed Morsi’s supporters demanding his reinstatement,the Muslim Brotherhood said today.
Brotherhood officials said security forces started firing shortly before pre-dawn prayers on protesters staging a sit-in here in support of Morsi,Egypt’s first democratically elected president who was toppled by the military on July 3.
They said at least 120 were killed and more than 4,500 injured. Most victims in Rabaa Al-Adawiya were transported to the field hospital,leaving them unreported by health ministry hospitals,Ahram Online reported.
The health ministry,however,put the toll at 46 after clashes erupted following a night of massive rallies both for and against the ousted Islamist president. It said hundreds were wounded nationwide,including seven policemen.
Since yesterday eight people were killed in Egypt’s second biggest city Alexandria,while 38 people died in the vicinity of Rabaa el-Adawiy Square,a health ministry official said. A 14-year-old boy was among the dead.
At least 708 people were injured,including 239 in the clashes in Nasr City and 469 other governorates.
The Interior Ministry today blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for deadly clashes and denied officers fired live rounds.
Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said pro-Mursi sit-ins will be “dealt with soon”.
“God willing,it will be broken up in a way that does not cause losses,” Ibrahim said. “But,God permitting,it must end. We hope that they come to their senses…and join their political process.
“With regards to the timing…to disperse the protesters,there is complete coordination between us and the armed forces,” Ibrahim told a news conference.
A doctor at a field hospital close to the protest at the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque told BBC that more than 1,000 people had been injured.
A security source told state-run news agency MENA that 53 Brotherhood members were arrested for wielding arms.
Morsi,who is facing several criminal charges,was last seen in public on June 26 and has been detained along with senior aides of his Muslim Brotherhood party.
His overthrow after massive nationwide protests demanding his resignation plunged the most populous Arab country into turmoil,with Islamist supporters of Morsi organising rallies demanding his reinstatement.
Both pro- and anti-Morsi supporters organised huge protests overnight in the capital,with some supporting the army and others angrily demanding his return to power.
Army chief Abdel Fattah El-Sisi earlier asked people to come out on the streets to give him a mandate to confront “violence and terrorism” by the Islamists.
Clashes also broke out in Upper Egypt’s Luxor and Mahalah,located in the Delta governorate of Gharbiya.
In the Nile Delta city of Gharbiya,10 people – including a police officer – were injured in clashes between loyalists and opponents of Morsi yesterday.
Meanwhile,clashes were ongoing in Sinai between pro- Morsi militant groups and security forces. Dozens have been killed in the restive peninsula since the beginning of the month.