Islamist Protests Hit Cities across Egypt, at Least 24 Dead

Troops in Egypt opened fire on protesters marching in support of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, killing three and wounding dozens.

Egyptian security forces opened fire on people who marched in support of President Mahammed Morsi. Photo: Moustapha Kamel Gamal- Aldeen/Flickr

At least three people 24 dead and dozens injured in Cairo after troopes opened fire on supporters of the freshly-ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

The shooting came as protester moved to the Republican Guard headquarters, where Mr Morsi is believed to be held, BBC reports.The Muslim Brotherhood’s leader later told protesters that marches would continue until the ousted president was reinstated.

“We are all now afraid for Egypt,” Amr Moussa, a former Arab League chief who was a major leader of the opposition to Morsi during his year in office, said on Al-Hayat TV. “Egypt can’t afford to enter into violence or civil war.”

And though the army, which removed Mohammed Morsi on Wednesday after days of unrest, denied shooting live rounds at demonstrators, there’re numerous witnesses that the shooting did take place.

“The military got itself in a trap by siding by one side. Now they see the masses in the streets and now they realized that there are two peoples,” Hamada Nassar, a member of the hard-line former militant group, Gamaa Islamiya, told reporters.

By the way, earlier the Egyptian Army assured that it would allow protesters to march.

“Peaceful protest and freedom of expression are rights guaranteed to everyone, which Egyptians have earned as one of the most important gains of their glorious revolution,” the army posted on Facebook.

More than 2,000 of Morsi supporters had marched on the officers’ club of the Republican Guard after passionate Friday Prayers at the nearby Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque.

As the crowd was getting bigger, and getting angrier the security troops opened fire – first into the air, then at the crowd.

According to reports, in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria 12 were killed and 200 injured in police shootings, while in Cairo, five people were killed as pro- and anti-Mursi protesters ran amok in central areas and armoured personnel carriers rumbled among them to restore calm.

Five police officers were killed in the North Sinai town of El Arish, and while it was not clear whether the attacks were linked to Mursi’s ouster, hardline Islamists there have warned they would fight back, Reuters informs.

Egypt’s first democratically elected president was toppled earlier this week, the latest twist in a tumultuous two years since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in the Arab Spring uprisings that swept the region.

Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad al-Haddad told the media that the movement meant refusal to co-operate with the new authorities and demanded the immediate release of those detained.

This week’s events have aroused concern among Egypt’s allies in the West, including the United States and the European Union, and in neighbouring Israel, with which Egypt has had a U.S.-backed peace treaty since 1979.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague took to Twitter to post that he was “very concerned by reports of deaths in Cairo”.

On Thursday the head of Egypt’s constitutional court, Adly Mahmud Mansour, promised to organize elections as soon as possible.

On Friday he dissolved the upper house – or Shura Council – in which Morsi supporters prevailed and was considered to be a sole legislative body after the lower house was dissolved last year.

Mr Mansour also appointed a new intelligence chief, Mohamed Ahmed Farid.

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