News / Middle East

Egyptian Army Defends Shooting of Pro-Morsi Protesters

Video of Muslim Brotherhood supporters and military backersi
X
July 08, 2013 3:02 PM
Egypt's military and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi are waging a war of words, blaming each other for a clash that killed at least 51 people and injured hundreds of others.
Video of Muslim Brotherhood supporters and pro-military activists
Edward Yeranian
Shootings in front of a military facility Monday in Cairo have left dozens of people dead and dozens more wounded, according to an Egyptian health ministry official.  Reports about who ignited the shoot-out are conflicting, with Muslim Brotherhood supporters accusing the army, and army officials insisting it was a “terrorist attack.” 

Witnesses said the shootings began just before the end of dawn prayers Monday.  The Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators and the Egyptian Army each accused the other side of starting the violence.

The Health Ministry said Monday at least 51 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in the early flare-up near Republican Guard headquarters.  Military officials said one soldier was among the dead and several more were in critical condition.

Pro-Muslim Brotherhood doctors at a field clinic held a news conference in which they claimed the army had used excessive force. Clinic doctors said they treated more than 400 serious wounds, including 150 gunshot wounds.

Al-Jazeera television showed amateur video of a half dozen people it said were peaceful protesters shot by the army.  Egyptian state TV also showed video of assailants pelting soldiers with stones and chunks of concrete as gunshots are heard in the background.

  • Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi perform weekly Friday prayers at the Rabaa Adawiya square in Cairo where they are camping, July 12, 2013.
  • A supporter of Morsi is doused with water on a hot day in Cairo, July 12, 2013.
  • Supporters of the ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shout anti-army slogans during a sit-in protest in Cairo July 11, 2013.
  • Morsi Supporters pray after breaking their fast during Ramadan, in Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt, July 11, 2013.
  • An Egyptian boy stands among Morsi supporters who are offering the Tarawih prayer after the evening meal during Ramadan, in Nasr City, Cairo, July 10, 2013.
  • Supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi during a rally in Nasr City, Cairo, July 10, 2013.
  • Supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi protest at the Republican Guard building in Nasr City, Cairo, July 10, 2013.
  • A supporter of ousted President Mohamed Morsi joins in a protest at the Republican Guard building in Nasr City, Cairo, July 10, 2013.
  • A supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi reads the Koran at the Rabaa Adawiya square, Cairo,  July 9, 2013.
  • Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi at their camp in Rabaa Adawiy square, Cairo, July 9, 2013. 
  • A supporter of ousted President Mohamed Morsi with a national flag gestures to army soldiers guard at the Republican Guard building in Nasr City, Cairo, July 9, 2013.
  • Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Morsi at Republican Guard headquarters in Nasr City, Cairo, July 8, 2013. 
  • Supporters Morsi carry the body of a fellow supporter killed by violence outside the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo, July 8, 2013.
  • Morsi supporters mourn protesters who died during clashes with army soldiers in Cairo, July 8, 2013.
  • Wounded supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi wait for treatment at a field hospital in Cairo, July 8, 2013. 

Muslim Brotherhood spokesmen called the shootings a “massacre,” while an army statement insisted a “terrorist attack” had taken place.

An injured Egyptian soldier, Mohamad Ibraheem described what he experienced.

He said he and other soldiers were there to ensure the safety of the people, but came under attack with gunfire, firebombs and bricks.  He said many of his colleagues were hit.

It was not immediately possible to reconcile the conflicting accounts.

Egyptian interim President Adly Mansour was reported to have appointed a judicial committee to investigate Monday's shootings.  A presidential statement expressed “deep regret” for the violence, but went on to say the shootings took place during an attempt to storm Republican Guard headquarters.

Amid the accusations, Al-Arabiya TV showed a video of Islamist cleric Safwat Hijazi, who supports ousted President Mohamed Morsi, insisting that “all means” would be used to “free Mr. Morsi” from army custody.

Republican Guard Headquarters, Cairo, EgyptRepublican Guard Headquarters, Cairo, Egypt
x
Republican Guard Headquarters, Cairo, Egypt
Republican Guard Headquarters, Cairo, Egypt
During the February 2011 revolution which toppled veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak, Islamist militants freed Morsi and other top Muslim Brotherhood leaders from a Sinai prison, and attacked other Egyptian prisons as well.

As reports of Monday's shootings spread, several Islamist groups announced they would not participate in an interim government that was being formed by Mansour.  The Salafi Nour Party called for President Morsi to be reinstated, as did Islamist leader and former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Foutouh.

A statement by the Muslim Brotherhood called for Egyptians to “rebel against those who stole their revolution from them.”  Thousands of Brotherhood supporters continued to protest in front of Cairo's Rouba Adawiya mosque as army troops watched from a distance.

Top opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei called for the “immediate formation” of an interim government, in the wake of the violence.  ElBaradei had been the initial favorite to head that government, before meeting resistance from the Nour Party.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sandrine from: UAE
July 09, 2013 4:35 PM
The Muslim brotherhood are the group behind many terrorist attacks, including the bombing of the world trade centre in 1993. They are def a terrorist organization. I would take the word of the military and NOT a group of terrorists. I feel that if the military really wanted to take them out, they would, and the outcome would be a lot more than 'dozens' of deaths. Meanwhile, I was reading they killed a priest in Sinai and also a Sheikh. And threw some teenagers off a building. What a disgrace. What religion are these people following. Here in the UAE, they arrested 50 or 60 of them as they tried to overthrow our Sheikh only a few weeks ago! Whether its a military coup or a revolution, there is no way a group like this should be in power in any country.

by: omar from: london
July 09, 2013 4:59 AM
1 - Mursi was an elected president, in every democracy if you do not like the president you wait until next elections.
2 - Army returned bullets against stones.

by: Saif from: Cairo
July 08, 2013 6:13 PM
I have no remorse for these thugs. What did they expect when they went to attack a military institution?? To be greeted with hugs and flowers? In my opinion they knew the risks, they forced the army to react and defend themselves. They should just calm down, and accept that Morsi isn't coming back.

by: ali baba from: new york
July 08, 2013 6:02 PM
Muslim brotherhood will not change the will of people. they have to stop violence

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs