CAIRO — Thousands of supporters of ousted President Mohamed Mursi took to the streets today, urging a “Day of Rage” to denounce this week’s assault by security forces on Muslim Brotherhood protesters that killed hundreds.
The army deployed dozens of armoured vehicles on major roads in Cairo, and the Interior Ministry has said police will use live ammunition against anyone threatening state installations.
Medical sources said four protesters died in clashes in the northeastern city of Ismailia, with one dead reported in the Mediterranean port of Damietta.
Violence was also reported in Egypt’s second city Alexandria and in the Nile Delta city of Tanta. Scuffles broke out in Cairo and a police conscript was killed in a drive-by shooting in the north of the capital, state news agency MENA reported.
Deeply polarised after months of political turmoil, Egypt stands on the abyss of nationwide chaos with Islamist supporters refusing to accept the July 3 toppling of Mursi following mammoth rallies castigating his trouble-plagued, year-long rule.
They have demanded the resignation of army commander General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the reinstatement of Egypt’s first freely elected president, who is in detention and has not been seen in public since his downfall.
Looking to end the crisis, police on Wednesday cleared out two protest camps in Cairo set up by the Muslim Brotherhood. The Health Ministry said at least 578 died in the onslaught, but the Brotherhood says thousands were killed.
“Sooner or later I will die. Better to die for my rights than in my bed. Guns don’t scare us anymore,” said Sara Ahmed, 28, a business manager, joining a march of thousands of demonstrators heading downtown from northeast Cairo.
“It’s not about the Brotherhood, it’s about human rights,” said Ahmed, one of the few women not wearing a headscarf.
Thousands of Mursi supporters were also gathered in Ramses Square in central Cairo. When a military helicopter flew low over the area, protesters held up shoes chanting “We will bring Sisi to the ground” and “Leave, leave, you traitor.” (Reuters)