More than 100 people died during an army offensive that left thousands injured in Cairo following protests organised by Muslim Brotherhood.
The Egyptian army killed more than 100 demonstrators in a pre-dawn crackdown on protests by supporters of Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi, Saturday, July 27; 2013. The ongoing violence leaves chances of peaceful political transition uncertain in the increasingly fragile and troubled North African country.
The widely condemned incident happened during protest organised by supporters of the ousted President Mohammed Morsi.
Morsi was ousted by the army on 3 July 2013 following nationwide demonstrations against his rule.
Both Pro and anti-Morsi demonstrators held a wave of protests Friday night which turned deadly as security forces unleashed live fire against civilians. The latest outburst of violence and its aftermath is the worst since Mubarak fell from power during the 2011 Arab Spring revolution.
Eyewitnesses and members of The Muslim Brotherhood claim the army resorted to live ammunition to quell the waves of protests.
Reports by Al Jazeera’s television say at least 120 people died and some 4,500 left injured near the capital’s Rabaa al-Adawia mosque during clashes with security forces.
‘They are not shooting to wound, they are shooting to kill,’ said pro-Morsi Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Gehad El-Haddad.
The army and the police, who back the new authorities in Egypt, take the blame for using brutal force against Pro Morsi protesters.
According to Human Rights Watch ‘many of the at least 74 pro-Morsy protesters killed in clashes with Egypt’s riot police and plain clothed men who stood alongside were shot in the head or chest.
Human Rights Watch say ‘medical staff who spoke to the rights group judged some of the deaths to be targeted killings because the position of the shots would likely result in death.’
The violence came hours after Interim President Adly Mansour announced, “the state has to impose order by all force and decisiveness.” The same day, Interior Minister Gen. Mohammed Ibrahim warned that security forces would be clearing pro-Morsy sit-ins from Rabaa and Nahda squares “soon.”
The Ministry of Health announced that at least 74 civilians died in the morning’s violence on Saturday.
At a press conference earlier that day, the minister of interior insisted that “We never, as police, pointed any firearms at the chest of any demonstrator.”
“The use of deadly fire on such a scale so soon after the interim president announced the need to impose order by force suggests a shocking willingness by the police and by certain politicians to ratchet up violence against pro-Morsy protesters,” said Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.
“It is almost impossible to imagine that so many killings would take place without an intention to kill, or at least a criminal disregard for people’s lives,” he added.
Reports say Muslim Brotherhood Organisation is calling on the international community to intervene.
There are signs that sectarian violence in Egypt and the heavy-handedness of the security forces will get worse unless the international community through the United Nations intervenes.
Clashes and counter-clashes between Pro and Ant-Morse may push this beleaguered country towards another coup d’état in as many weeks.
- Egyptian army questions Mohamed Morsi over alleged Hamas terror links (guardian.co.uk)
- Egypt: ‘Dozens Killed’ As Rallies Turn Violent (news.sky.com)
- Brotherhood denies talks with army to halt pro-Morsi protests (worldbulletin.net)