7 killed, 261 injured in overnight clashes in Cairo

Ahram Online, Tuesday 16 Jul 2013

Egypt's health ministry says 137 injured have left the hospital, 124 still receiving medical care; calm restored in Ramsis and open to traffic

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Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi clash with riot police on the Sixth of October Bridge over the Ramsis square area in central Cairo, (Photo: Reuters)

Seven people have been killed and 261 injured in overnight clashes between the police and supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi in downtown Cairo and Giza, according to Egypt's health ministry.

Khaled El-Khatib, head of the central administration for critical and urgent care at the health ministry, said that two people were killed in Ramsis, downtown Cairo; four in the vicinity of Cairo University in Giza; and one in Al-Bahr Al-Azam area, also in Giza.

According to El-Khatib, 137 of the injured have left the hospital, while 124 are still receiving medical care.

Meanwhile, calm has been restored in Ramsis square and it has opened to traffic Tuesday morning after the overnight clashes, state news agency MENA reported.

However, tens of Morsi proponents have taken the nearby Fateh Mosque as shelter, refusing to leave as they expect they will be attacked.

Residents reportedly formed a human chain around the mosque to prevent any potential attackers from entering it.

Pro-Morsi protesters have been staging sit-ins and demonstrations around Cairo in the past week calling for his reinstatement. On 3 July, the army deposed Morsi one year after his inauguration as president amid mass nationwide protests against him.

Clashes erupted on Monday night and continued through the early hours of Tuesday in several major areas around Cairo, bringing traffic to a halt on many vital routes of the city.

Violence first broke out late on Monday after police forces fired teargas at pro-Morsi protesters to clear the Six of October Bridge above downtown's Ramsis street, both of which were blocked by the demonstrations and turmoil.

Ahram Online's reporter says the police have also used birdshot against protesters, and that a number of downtown residents and opponents of the Brotherhood joined the police against the pro-Morsi supporters.

Morsi's supporters mainly hurled stones at the police after the latter fired teargas canisters. The same reporter says at least two police personnel were injured by birdshot. 

Street battles also erupted in the Ghamra neighborhood near Ramsis between residents and Brotherhood supporters, with both sides reportedly using birdshot against the other.

In addition, firefights also broke out between pro-Morsi protesters and unknown assailants near Giza Square in greater Cairo, state news agency MENA reported.

Concurrent with the clashes, Morsi supporters took to the streets in several marches.  

Around 2,000 marched to the Republican Guard headquarters in Nasr City, where over 50 Morsi supporters were killed after clashing with military forces on 8 July. Security forces intensified its presence around the premises.

Meanwhile, the protesters, led by the Muslim Brotherhood from which Morsi hails, continue their sit-in at Rabaa El-Adawiya Mosque in Nasr City for the 19th day.

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