Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi carry an injured man to a field hospital following clashes with security forces at Nasr City, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, July 27, 2013 (Photo: AP)
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood claimed that police used live ammunition in deadly violence against loyalists of Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The Islamist group claimed at least 120 people have been killed and 4,500 injured in the Saturday clashes in the vicinity of the pro-Morsi sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque in east Cairo.
The health ministry said on Saturday afternoon that 38 have been confirmed dead in connection with the violence.
Interior ministry spokesman Hani Abdel-Latif had said earlier on Saturday that pro-Morsi protesters had started to block traffic on a bridge, then "clashed with residents of the nearby [working class] Mansheyet Nasr district using live fire and birdshot, and this killed 21 people."
"The police moved to stop the clashes between the two groups and opened the road again," he added, stressing that the police had only used teargas, not live ammunition or birdshot.
In a press conference on Saturday afternoon, the Islamist group, to which Morsi belongs, condemned “unlawful use of violence” against "peaceful protesters."
Brotherhood spokesman Ahmed Aref said 66 people had been killed and more than 4,000 were wounded by tear gas, birdshot pellets and live rounds, "intentionally targeting heads and chests."
He went on to claim that military helicopters fired live ammunition at the pro-Morsi protesters.
Aref deplored what he described as "failed attempts to drag us into a civil war," slamming the labelling of "anti-coup" protesters as "terrorists" or "militants."
The Islamist spokesman pledged to press ahead with a month-long pro-Morsi vigil in northern Cairo until their leader reinstated.
Egypt has been rocked by roiling unrest since Morsi was ousted on 3 July following nationwide protests against his rule. Scores have been killed and hundreds wounded in violence between rival factions in the weeks since the change of government.