51 dead, 435 hurt in clashes near pro-Morsi sit-in
CAIRO -- At least 51 people were killed and 435 injured in clashes early Monday near the Republican Guard headquarters in the Egyptian capital, the Ministry of Health said.
Supporters of deposed President Mohammed Morsi had been holding a
| By Middle East standards this isn't even a speed bump...|mostly peaceful sit-in near the compound.
Reuters cited the Egyptian military as saying "a terrorist group" had tried to storm the building early Monday. A Ministry of Defense official said that 200 people were arrested after protesters attacked the site around 4 a.m. local time (10 p.m. ET on Sunday). Some were armed with guns, Molotov cocktails and knives, according to the official. One officer was killed and six troops wounded, the military said.
However, Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and its allies accused security forces of attacking protesters. NBC News was not immediately able to reconcile the differing accounts.
At a news conference, Colonel Ahmad Mohammad Ali, a spokesman for the Egyptian military, blamed the protesters, saying they had attacked police who were "securing the area."
"They were on top of buildings...they either fired or threw things down," the spokesman said, adding that there had been 42 soldiers injured, eight of whom were in a critical condition.
"They were firing live ammunition and the military had to defend itself," the spokesman said.
A statement by the Brotherhood-linked Freedom and Justice Party said more than 53 had been killed and 1,000 injured.
"Early on Monday, supporters of the legitimate elected President Mohammed Morsi performing the
mostly peaceful dawn prayer outside the Republican Guard headquarters were massacred with heavy gunfire, live bullets, birdshot and tear gas," the party said in a statement on its website.
Posted by: 2013-07-08