Jessica Tanner, Staff Writer
Last Modified: 11:42 p.m. DST, 9 July 2013
CAIRO, Egypt – A violent clash erupted in Cairo, Egypt on Monday that led to the deaths of more than 50 people. Top Egyptian security officials claim that they were defending the Republican Guard headquarters against attackers. According to Health Ministry official, Khaled al-Khatib announced the number of fatalities at 51 with 435 others left severely wounded.
Several witnesses report seeing the military and police fire as protesters took a break from holding a vigil at the Republican Guard headquarters to perform their dawn prayers. Interior Ministry spokesman, Hani Abdel-Latif tells a different story. Around 4am an “armed group” used bombs, rocks, and bullets to attack the area and the people safeguarding the headquarters building.
The officers told reporters that it is the job of the security forces to protect protesters. According to the officers, what occurred was an assault and their main focus at that time was to protect the institution.
According to The Freedom and Justice Party’s deputy chairman, Esam al Aryan, revealed on their Facebook site that four children were killed during the clash. Monday’s violent clash also deepened an existing crisis since the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi. Many of Morsi’s supporters have been in daily battles with security forces since his public ouster.
A spokesperson, Nadar Baker said to reporters, “We will not remain silent on the Republican Guard Massacre.” Before Monday’s violent outbreak there had also been 30 deaths and 1,400 had suffered injuries following the coup. Egypt’s military declared over the weekend it was stepping up security efforts for the demonstrations. The statement read, “We also warn against any provocations or clashes with the peaceful demonstrators. Anyone who violates these instructions will be dealt with firmly in accordance with the law.”
- Muslim Brotherhood Urges New Protests (voanews.com)
- Egypt army kills at least 50 in Cairo clashes (news.yahoo.com)
- Egypt interim leader urges calm after dozens killed in Cairo (jpost.com)