More than 70 People Dead in Egypt as Violence Erupts at Cairo Rallies

Egyptian security forces opened fire at supporters of President Mohamed Mursi on Saturday.

Violence has broken out in the capital of Egypt where supporters of ousted President Morsi are protesting against new power, with up to 120 people reported dead. Photo: Mahmoud Gamal El-Din/Flickr

Groups of the Egyptian forces opened fired on crowds of Morsi’s supporters who gathered on the fringes of a round-the-clock sit-in near a mosque in northeast Cairo.

“They are not shooting to wound, they are shooting to kill,” said Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad. “The bullet wounds are in the head and chest.”

A Muslim Brotherhood official website reports that about 120 of proteters were been killed and 4,500 injured, informs Reuters.

Egypt’s Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim assured the media that in the clashes were killed only 21 people and denied that police were first to open fire. Ibrahim also accused the Brotherhood of exaggerating for political ends.

Witnesses said police opened fire at Brotherhood protesters gathered on a boulevard, with live shots ringing out soon afterwards.

“There were snipers on the rooftops, I could hear the bullets whizzing past me,” said Ahmed el Nashar, 34, a business consultant, choking back his tears. “Man, people were just dropping.”

Brotherhood activists at Rabaa warned of possible further bloodshed if the security forces did not back down.

“We will stay here until we die, one by one,” said Ahmed Ali, 24, helping treat casualties at the field hospital.”

“We have the examples of Algeria and Syria in our minds. We don’t want it to become a civil war. If we take up arms it might become one. This is a religious belief.”

British Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned the killings. “I call on the Egyptian authorities to respect the right of peaceful protest, to cease the use of violence against protesters, including live fire, and to hold to account those responsible,” he said.

“The new wave of bloodshed came as hundreds of thousands of Egyptians heeded a call by army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to give him a popular mandate to confront violence unleashed by his July 3 overthrow of Egypt’s first freely elected president,” The Telegraph reports.

The news comes a month after similar incident occured in the country. Troops in Egypt opened fire on protesters marching in support of ousted president, killing three and wounding dozens on July, 5.

Hundreds of thousands of Morsi’s supporters took to the streets on Friday in response to a call by army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for nationwide demonstrations to give him backing to confront the weeks-long wave of violence.

The Brotherhood said his appeal seemed to be a challenge for them. The group organized its own rallies yeasterday demanding to free the ousted leader, who has been held in unknown location since he was toppled and faces a raft of charges, including murder.

Brotherhood leaders appealed for calm on Saturday, but activists at the Rabaa al-Adawia mosque vigil voiced fury.

“The people want the execution of Sisi,” a cleric shouted to the crowd from a stage by the mosque. “The people want the execution of the butcher.”

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