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Sorrow and anger at Rabaa Al-Adaweya

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Supporters of Mohamed Morsi continue demonstrating at Rabaa as some stand off against Republican Guard following Monday’s fatalities

Egyptian supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi attend a rally in support of the former Islamist leader outside Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, mourning the dead of the early morning clashes  (AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS)

Egyptian supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi attend a rally in support of the former Islamist leader outside Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, mourning the dead of the early morning clashes
(AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS)

Thousands of demonstrators arrived at Rabaa Al-Adaweya, the site of an ongoing demonstration in support of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, after Monday morning’s violence between the Republican Guard and Morsi loyalists left 51 dead and 435 injured, according to a the Ministry of Health.

“I will teach my children that the army stole my president, stole my constitution, stole my voice and killed by brother,” said Hassan Ali, a protester who arrived at the square after hearing the news of Monday morning’s bloodshed.

Demonstrators directed most of their anger at Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi. “There is no god but Allah, and Al-Sisi is an enemy of Allah,” chanted demonstrators in the square.

Hundreds of metres away, on Tayaran Street, more demonstrators gathered at a barbed wire fence that separated them and the Republican Guard, near where Monday’s clashes occurred.

“Down with Al-Sisi, killer of protesters,” chanted some of the protesters, in reference to the violence, which Morsi’s supporters claim had been instigated by soldiers during dawn prayers.

“We reject this coup d’etat,” said Ahmed Mohamed, a protester who had made his way near the barricade where soldiers were stationed. “This is not our army’s fault but the fault of its corrupt leaders.”

“They are shooting us now because they want us to stop coming to support President Morsi, but today they will learn that we will keep coming even if they don’t like it,” said Youssef Abdallah, a demonstrator who added that the Islamists’ cause would only strengthen after the fatalities.

Protesters continued to arrive to Rabaa Al-Adaweya ahead of funeral prayers as bodies of the deceased were expected to arrive from the Zeinhom morgue.

Mohamed Al-Zanaty, another doctor, said all of the victims were bare foot, indicating that they were praying at the time of the attack.

Al-Zanaty claimed that the dead include eight women and at least four children, whose ages range between six months and 11 years.

Head of the Health Insurance Authority Abdel-Rahman Al-Saqa, however, told state-run TV that none of the dead and injured were either women or children.

Al-Zanaty added that some of the injuries had to be caused by explosive bullets because one person’s skull was “split into two.”

Two press conferences were held, one after the other.

In the earlier press conference organised to discuss details of the clashes, Ibrahim said that his field hospital received 400 cases in three hours. “150 of them were live bullet injuries,” he claimed. Chants against Defence Minister Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi repeatedly broke out in the first press conference including, “Al-Sisi is a murderer.”

Several doctors at the field hospital press conference wore blood-stained coats while speaking.

Mohamed Hassan Awed, one of the injured, spoke at the press conference, wearing a bloody shirt as he relayed his testimony. He said that when they heard cries for help: “some of us stopped praying while others continued.” He stated when he went to Tayaran Street he saw army and police personnel fire teargas and live bullets.

Awad added that he saw dozens of injured people and when people ran to assist the injured, they were also hit.

Amr Mahrous, another injured protester, gave his account from a stretcher, alleging that when the assembled heard the gunshots they started running in all directions. Mahrous claimed he was beaten with a baton on his neck and hit by birdshot, after which he passed out.

One speaker claimed that the dead were dressed in security uniforms to deliberately hide their identities; an interior ministry official denied these claims to state-run Ahram.


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