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Deadly clashes in Ramses Square

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Demonstrators use Al-Fatah Mosque in Cairo as morgue/hospital, refuse to leave.

Army, police and residents provide safe passage for women to leave Al-Fatah Mosque in Ramses Square Ahmed Al-Malky

Army, police and residents provide safe passage for women to leave Al-Fatah Mosque in Ramses Square
Ahmed Al-Malky

Gunfire was exchanged between security forces and protestors within Cairo’s Al-Fatah Mosque on Saturday after forces asked the demonstrators to vacate the mosque.

The protesters, who reject the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, took shelter within the mosque on Friday. Gunfire started around 1.30pm on Saturday.

Clashes began on Friday, following street demonstrations after the noon prayers, in which they demanded that their needs be met. The most violent clashes were in Ramses Square in Cairo, close to Tahrir square, starting after protesters came close to the Azbakeya police station.

Witnesses heard gunshots in the vicinity, and said that tear gas had been fired.

The clashes continued on 6th of October Bridge above Ramses Square; protesters also reached the 15 May Bridge over Boulaq and Zamalek, where fighting took place between Morsi supporters and plainclothes individuals. One video later surfaced of protesters jumping off the 15 May Bridge and another video showed individuals on the bridge carrying firearms.

As of the time of press, street fights are erupting and subsiding periodically in Ramses Square.

The clashes follow in the wake of Wednesday’s dispersal of the sit-ins near Rabaa Al-Adaweya Mosque and in Al-Nahda Square by the Ministry of Interior; the most recent death toll was over 600 dead and around 4,000 injured.

The Ramses Square clashes alone claimed 173 lives, according to the cabinet and the Ministry of Health.

Muslim Brotherhood spokesman, Gehad El-Haddad, stated on his personal twitter account that their protest on Friday would end after Isha prayers, which is after the 7pm curfew enforced by the army.

The armed forces stated on Friday that it would deal “firmly” with anyone breaching the curfew, calling on civilians to leave the Ramses area before the curfew begins.

Since the start of the curfew on Friday, many of the protesters took refuge within the nearby Al-Fatah Mosque, which was turned into a make-shift morgue and field hospital.

A live video stream from inside the mosque shows a large number of people inside, next to a number of body bags, as well as a number of injured being treated.

Witnesses said the protesters have conditioned their evacuation of the mosque on the army securing their exit, and not the police.

 


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