A Muslim Brotherhood spokesman has said that the supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were attacked during a march to the US embassy on Monday as an intimidation tactic.
"The assault on protesters near the American embassy only reflects a desperate attempt at suppressing peaceful demonstrations," said media spokesman Ahmed Aref following clashes that erupted Monday around Tahrir Square, which is close to the embassy.
Hundreds of supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi clashed late Monday afternoon with anti-Morsi protesters who have been holding a sit-in in Tahrir Square, although there were conflicting reports about which side initiated the violence.
An Islamist alliance led by Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood had staged marches to the US embassy and the defence ministry headquarters as a protest against the "real leaders of the coup d’état."
Morsi, elected in June 2012, was ousted by Egypt’s military following nationwide protests demanding his resignation.
The clashes on Monday started when pro-Morsi demonstrators approached Tahrir Square on their route to hold a protest rally at the US embassy a few blocks away. Pro and anti-Morsi forces exchanged rocks and gunfire.
Other clashes also erupted on Monday in the Qalioubiya province just north of Cairo, and in Damietta East in the Nile Delta.
Khaled El-Khatib, a senior health ministry official, said that two people were killed and 40 injured in the clashes that took place in the three cities, according to state news agency MENA.