Armed guards fire at pro-Morsi protesters, army denies involvement
Security forces watch over protesters, who support former Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, during clashes outside the Republican Guard building in Cairo July 5, 2013. (Reuters / Asmaa Waguih)
Troops have fired bullets into the crowd of pro-Morsi demonstrators marching on the Republican Guard Headquarters located on the edge of Cairo’s Nasr City. ‘At least’ three have been reported dead, amid army denials.
The stream of bullets followed unconfirmed reports of warning shots being fired into the air as the Islamist crowd gathered on Salah Salem, marching towards the barracks where the deposed President is being held. Three have been reported dead, according to AFP, amid eyewitness accounts of several causalities.
NBC later reported that the figure stood at 4.
— NBC Nightly News (@nbcnightlynews) July 5, 2013
Supporters rallying for the reinstatement of Morsi were wounded by gunfire as they approached, according to Reuters. One witness informed the agency that he saw several people taken down by shotgun pellets, suffering from injuries.
An AFP Cairo correspondent is fleeing the scene, with one BBC journalist sustaining an injury.
Leaving. Not safe at all. Sorry
— Haitham Tabei (@Haithamtabei) July 5, 2013
— Sharif Kouddous (@sharifkouddous) July 5, 2013
As the demonstrators had approached, a small collective of men placed a poster of Morsi atop the barbed wire barrier closing off the military cordon. Protesters reportedly waved shoes at police – a traditionally insulting gesture – prior to the onslaught.
“We are receiving reports that some of the protesters fired back at Egyptian police,” said RT’s Paula Slier, based in Cairo.
Egypt’s security sources are denying that any people were killed following the clashes, announcing on state radio that there have been no deaths in the barrage of bullets.
An army spokesperson said that only blank rounds and teargas were used against the protesters, according to Reuters. It is unclear whether security forces were present at the scene who did not belong to the army. A media spokesperson for the Muslim Brotherhood, Gehad El-Haddad, said that any shootings had been at the hands of the neighboring military police.
Shootings at Republican Guards HQ was not by the guards but by neighboring Military Police. Not known if under panic or by order. #Egypt
— Gehad El-Haddad (@gelhaddad) July 5, 2013
Protesters, who support former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, march near Cairo University after Friday prayers in Cairo July 5, 2013. (Reuters / Asmaa Waguih)
Thousands of Morsi supporters have been gathering across several locations in Cairo in response to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s ousting by the on Wednesday following anti-government protests.
The groups have been assembling in response to a call by the alliance of Islamist parties – which included Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, for peaceful protests to condemn the ousting.
“There certainly is a feeling that history is repeating itself – you need to remember that it was just two years ago that the former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was overthrown. What people here on the streets are saying is we’re witnessing another overthrow, and the point is being made is that this was a democratically elected president,” said Slier.
In Cairo, supporters took to the streets at Cairo University and Istiqama Mosque in nearby Giza Square, as well as in the Cairo district of Heliopolis, not far from the Ittihadiya presidential palace in addition to the Nasr City district action.
The capital hasn’t been the sole location of the demonstrations: Unrest swept the northern cities of Alexandia and Beheira following Friday afternoon prayers.
Protesters, who support former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, with flags and posters march near Cairo University after Friday prayers in Cairo July 5, 2013. (Reuters / Suhaib Salem)
Supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi gather to help a man shot during a gun battle as others duck for cover outside the Cairo headquarters of the Republican Guard on July 5, 2013. (AFP Photo / Mahmud Hams)
Protesters, who support former Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, carry an injured man during clashes outside the Republican Guard building in Cairo July 5, 2013. (Reuters / Asmaa Waguih)
Protesters who support former Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi carry an injured man during clashes outside the Republican Guard building in Cairo July 5, 2013. (Reuters / Louafi Larbi)