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CAIRO BLOODBATH: Worst violence reported since Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 29th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Pro and anti-government forces in Cairo have clashed with police, leading to a massacre in which at least 120 people have been killed and a 1,000 more suffered injuries. The world community has condemned the incident, calling it the worst violence reported in Egypt since President Hosni Mubarak was forced from office two years ago.   

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "I am deeply concerned by recent events in Egypt and condemn the use of force against protesters which has led to the loss of lives. I call on all sides to refrain from violence," United Kingdom Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State William Hague declared. "Now is the time for dialogue, not confrontation."

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Security forces are accused of attacking protesters who had moved out of a mosque and were blocking a main road in east Cairo. Egypt's military-backed government had earlier vowed to sweep away what it called "terrorists."

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Makeshift field hospitals have been swamped with casualties. Television footage showed corpses covered in white shrouds amid pools of blood. "They are not shooting to wound, they are shooting to kill," Muslim Brotherhood's spokesman Gehad El-Haddad says.

Egypt's interior ministry insists that only tear gas had been used, adding that 14 policemen and 37 soldiers had also been injured.


Military-backed authorities were more self-confident after millions turned out for nationwide rallies on Friday called by the army chief.


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The deaths occurred hours after supporters and opponents of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi staged mass rival rallies across the country.

"Protesters replied by hurling rocks and started building walls,' Ragab Nayel Ali, one of the pro-Morsi protesters, said.  


The fighting is by far the country's bloodiest incidence of violence since the army deposed Mohammed Morsi earlier this month.


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Muslim Brotherhood supporters also staged mass counter-rallies, demanding the reinstatement of Morsi, who is currently under investigation on Friday for a raft of crimes -- including murder.

The country's new rulers accused Morsi of conspiring with the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and plotting to attack police stations, army officers and prisons during the 2011 uprising against former president Hosni Mubarak.


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Altogether, more than 200 people have died in violence since the overthrow of Morsi, including at least nine on Friday, most of them Brotherhood supporters.

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Haddad claimed that the latest deaths came after police started firing repeated rounds of teargas around 3 a.m. at protesters who had spilled out of the main area of the Rabaa sit-in.

"Through the smog of the gas, the bullets started flying," he said, as "special police forces in black uniforms" were firing live rounds and that snipers shot from the roofs of a university, buildings in the area, and a bridge.


State news agency MENA quoted an unnamed security source as saying that only teargas was used to disperse protesters - and that no firearms were used.

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