Violent clashes between Egyptian security and Morsi supporters
At least 38 protesters have died and 180 have been wounded as Egyptian security forces clashed with supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi.
Clashes erupted early Saturday in Cairo between security forces and supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi, killing at least 38 protesters and overwhelming field hospitals with the wounded, a medic said, in an outburst of violence that deepens the battle lines in the country's political crisis.Skip to next paragraph
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Health Ministry spokesman Khaled el-Khateeb told The Associated Press that a government hospital near the clashes has received 21 dead and 180 wounded so far. The difference in death tolls could not be immediately reconciled.
The carnage overnight near the month-old sit-in held by Morsi's supporters is likely to harden the resolve of the deposed leader's camp, who described the latest bloodshed as a "massacre." On the other side of the political divide, the military-backed interim leadership appears to feel emboldened to move against Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood following mass rallies on Friday in support of a crackdown against the ousted president and his Islamist allies.
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The clashes began after hundreds of Morsi supporters moved out of their sit-in outside of the Rabaah al-Adawiyah Mosque in east Cairo late Friday. One group began to set up tents on an adjoining boulevard, where they planned to stay for at least three days, said Mahmoud Zaqzouq, a Brotherhood spokesman. At the same time, another group of protesters marched toward a nearby overpass, where they were met by volleys of tear gas from the police. The demonstrators responded by hurling rocks and stones at the security forces.
The confrontation quickly turned bloody. At first, doctors said half a dozen were killed in the clashes, mostly by birdshots and some live ammunition. At the crack of dawn, the pace of casualties picked up and a nearby field hospital was unable to cope with the influx, according to Yehia Mikkia, a doctor at the makeshift facility. He said hundreds were wounded.
Mikkia, the field hospital doctor, said 38 people had been killed, and that most of the casualties had wounds to the upper part of the body. He said the number of dead is likely to be higher because other casualties were transported to different hospitals.
At the makeshift morgue at the sit-in, supporters chanted "The people want to execute the butcher," referring to army chief and Defense Minster Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, as they ushered the dead out to the hospitals.
In footage broadcast on Al-Jazeera Mubashir Misr TV, the bodies of more than 12 men shrouded in white cloth were laid out on the floor of the field hospital. Pools of blood colored the floor red.