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Mourners perform funeral prayers for women killed in Mansoura

Parties and movements across political spectrum condemn the killings; call on Brotherhood to protect members from 'futile clashes'

Ahram Online, Saturday 20 Jul 2013
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Thousands performed funeral prayers on Saturday for the women killed in Egypt's Nile Delta city of Mansoura, Al-Ahram's Arabic website reported.

Three women were announced dead by Egypt's health ministry late on Friday after clashes erupted between supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi and unknown assailants.

The Muslim Brotherhood claims that four women were killed in the incident. Eight others were reported injured.

Live rounds, birdshot, and knives were used in the attack, according to witnesses who talked to Al-Ahram's Arabic website.

Hundreds of thousands of Morsi supporters across the country took to the streets on Friday calling for the former president's reinstatement.  They have been staging daily protests since his ouster on 3 July.

The incident in Mansoura has sparked wide criticism.

Egypt's April 6 Youth Movement stated that all Egyptian blood is precious and all citizens have the right to peaceful protests. It also called on authorities to bring those responsible to justice, placing blame partly on the Brotherhood for "pushing their members into futile clashes." 

The Egyptian Centre for Women's Rights condemned the incident, claiming that the Brotherhood has been "purposefully using more women in its protests since 30 June."

"This came as an attempt to change the image of Brotherhood and Morsi supporters and to give the impression that the [Brotherhood's] demands are popular ones, especially now that families are participating," the centre said in a statement.   

Head of the Salafist Al-Nour Party Younis Makhioun condemned the attack on Saturday, calling on security forces to protect protesters. He also condemned what he described as pushing "Egypt's women into danger." 

The army deposed president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July amid mass nationwide protests against him. 

Morsi's supporters, led by the Brotherhood, have been staging marches and sin-ins across Cairo and in several governorates against what they say was a military coup against Egypt's first democratically-elected president. 

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