Jul 08, 2013
By Jane Brown
Egyptian soldiers and police have clashed with Islamists protesting the president’s ouster, in bloodshed that killed at least 40 people, according to government officials and witnesses in Cairo. One witness says gunmen loyal to the ousted Mohammed Morsi, including some on the roof of a nearby mosque, opened fire first. Morsi’s supporters say the troops fired on protesters as they performed early morning prayers.
Mirna el-Helbawi, a 21-year-old university student who lives in an apartment overlooking the scene, says the gunbattle followed clashes between the two sides in which rocks and tear gas were used.
The Morsi supporters have been staging a sit-in outside a military building. Gehad El-Haddad denounced the military’s move as a coup against democracy and said they’ll not give up until Morsi is reinstated. “I lived most of my life in the oppressive state of Mubarek. My father did the same under different regimes. My grandfather did the same. It’s been too long. This country has been robbed of its’ freedoms. I’m not willing to let my son and my daughter inherit the state in that mess.”
A military spokesman says gunmen attempted to storm the building at dawn, prompting the clashes. It was not immediately possible to reconcile the conflicting accounts.
(The Associated Press)