Several killed in Egypt as army opens fire on Morsi supporters
The Egyptian army opened fire on supporters of the recently overthrown leader Mohammad Morsi yesterday.
The protesters, including women and children, staged a sit-in outside a military building in Cairo before military forces closed in and opened fire. Ahmed al-Ansari, the deputy head of emergency services, announced: “The death toll is 42 dead and 322 wounded.”
One of the protesters, Al-Shaimaa Younes, described the attack: “They opened fire with live ammunition and lobbed tear gas. There was panic and people started running. I saw people fall.”
A military spokesman, colonel Ahmed Mohammed Ali, claimed that the army acted after provocation from the opposing side.
He accused gunmen associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which was led by Morsi, of storming the area with live ammunition and firebombs from the rooftop of a nearby mosque. The televised news referred to them as “an armed terrorist group.”
There has been much speculation about the conduct of the Egyptian army, who early last week ejected Morsi on behalf of the public, but are also feared to be capable of bypassing key human rights.
A local medic, Dr.Hesham Agami, said that after the shootings the military were actively blocking off roads to the nearest hospital which prevented casualties from getting the treatment they urgently needed.
Many believe that the fallout from this event will shape the public’s perception of the Egyptian army.