At least 10 reported dead in Egyptian clashes

6:45 PM, Jul 5, 2013   |    comments
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CAIRO - A Health Ministry official says at least 10 people have been killed and 210 injured in clashes around the country involving opponents and backers of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, as well as security forces.

In Cairo, a crowd of Islamists surged across a bridge over the Nile River after nightfall and clashed with Morsi opponents near Tahrir Square and outside the state TV building. One witness reports gunfire and stone throwing.

Clashes, some involving police, erupted in cities of southern Egypt, along the Suez Canal and in the Nile Delta as Morsi supporters marched on local government buildings.

Khaled el-Khatib, a Health Ministry official, says four people have been killed in Cairo and two elsewhere, with 180 wounded.

Witnesses say some of those deaths came as Egyptian troops opened fire on mainly Islamist demonstrators outside the Republican Guard military barracks where ousted president Mohammed Morsi is being held, killing as many as three people.

The BBC, quoting the head of Cairo's emergency services, reported that three people were killed and 69 injured in the shooting, while the Associated Press said one person was killed.

There was also some confusion regarding the source of the gunfire. Reporters for various news organizations reported seeing Egyptian troops open fire on the crowd. Reuters quoted a military spokesman as saying the army fired only blank rounds and tear gas at the protesters, not live ammunition.

BBC reporter Jeremy Boven, who was hit above the ear by shotgun pellets, said he saw the soldiers fire on the protesters.

Gehad El-Haddad, the spokesman for Muslim Brotherhood, said it was military police nearby - not the Republican Guards - who opened fire. He said on a Twitter post that he did not know whether the shots were fired "under panic or by order."

The shootings came as tens of thousands of demonstrators heeded a call by Islamists for a "Friday of Rejection" to protest the removal two days ago of Egypt's first democratically elected president. Protesters rallied at the military barracks, and later at Cairo University and in front of state TV.

It also coincided with the formal dissolution of parliament by interim President Adly Mansour, who was installed as leader by the military after Morsi's dismissal.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press/USA Today. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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