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Cairo calm after overnight clashes leave 12 dead, 86 injured

Popular committees increase their presence in Cairo and Giza after overnight clashes between supporters and opponents of former president Mohamed Morsi

Ahram Online, Tuesday 23 Jul 2013
Giza
A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi stands behind sand barriers set up by protesters near Cairo University in Giza, Egypt, Tuesday, 23 July, 2013 (Photo: AP)
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Calm has been restored on Tuesday after overnight clashes between supporters and opponents of deposed president Mohamed Morsi killed 12 and injured 86 across Cairo, Giza and Qalioubiya governorate.

In Cairo's Tahrir Square, where Morsi opponents stage demonstrations, popular committees (unofficial groups of concerned citizens) have increased their presence at the square's entrances in an effort to tighten security. Clashes broke out on Monday when Morsi supporters en route to the US embassy attacked anti-Morsi protesters in nearby Tahrir Square. Rocks were exchanged as well as gunshots. One person died and at least 23 were injured during the violence.

In Giza, popular committees are in place in Nahda Square, near Cairo University, where six people died on Monday when Morsi supporters clashed with local residents and unknown assailants. Popular committees are checking the identity cards of anyone trying to join the sit-in that has been ongoing since Morsi was deposed on 3 July. The Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which Morsi hails, blamed “thugs" and police for the deaths.

12 people were killed and 86 injured in the Egyptian governorates of Cairo, Giza and Qalioubiya during Monday clashes between pro and anti Morsi protesters, said Health Ministry official Khaled El-Khatib.

Nine were killed in clashes in Giza while three were killed in Qalioubiya governorate and Tahrir Square. From the 86 injured, 12 people suffered minor injuries and were released from multiple hospitals, while 74 are still being treated, El-Khatib said in an official statement on Tuesday.

In Qalioubiya, north of Cairo, two 18-year-olds were killed by gunshots in clashes between supporters and opponents of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, according to the health ministry.

Security was able to reopen the Cairo-Alexandria agricultural road, which they said was closed for six hours by Morsi supporters, reported Al-Ahram Arabic news website.

In the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, tens of people were injured when unknown assailants attacked a pro-Morsi march as it headed to the Daqahliya governorate headquarters, leaving at least 15 injured.

In Damietta, pro and anti Morsi protesters also locked horns at El-Sa'a Square.

In Giza, where Morsi loyalists have been staging a sit-in at Al-Nahda Square in front of Cairo University following 30 June protests, unknown assailants opened fire on them.

Tens of cars belonging to the protesters were smashed and torched.

Police arrived on the scene shortly and fired teargas in an attempt to end violence. 14 protesters suffered breathing difficulties due to teargas inhalation, reported Al-Ahram Arabic news website.

Supporters and opponents of Morsi exchanged fire in Egypt’s Giza Square, which is located a few blocks away from the pro-Morsi sit-in in Al-Nahda Square.

At least six were killed and dozens injured in Giza, which has become a recent scene for clashes.

The Muslim Brotherhood blamed what it described as "thugs" and the police forces for the deaths.

Morsi was overthrown on 3 July as part of the armed forces’ roadmap for Egypt’s future, which was enforced following mass nationwide protests against the former elected president.

Thousands of Morsi’s supporters have since been staging a sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adawiya area in Cairo's Nasr City and across several Egyptian governorates until he is restored to office, prompting clashes. 

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