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Friday, August 16, 2013

Egypt: Clashes erupted during the Islamist marches dubbed “Friday of Rage” in Cairo and nationwide

Violent clashes erupted during Friday Islamist marches 
Thousands of Muslim Brotherhood’s and Mohamed Morsy’s supporters have gathered on Friday, 16 August, in Cairo and in other Egyptian governorates as well for the marches dubbed “Friday of Rage”.

Egypt’s Allisnce in Support of Legitimacy which united several prominent Islamist political forces and parties and demands the reinstatement of Mohamed Morsy as Egypt’s legitimate President and protesting against the current government and against what they call “a coup” have called for their supporters to gather in Cairo downtown and in other cities as well to express their protest and anger towards the excessive violence showed by Egypt’s security forces during the dispersal of two main sit-ins of Morsy’s supporters in Cairo.

On Wednesday, 14 August, Egypt’s security forces started the operation to disperse the sit-ins of Morsy’s supporters located in Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adaweya Square in Nasr City and in Al-Nahda Square in Giza, in front of Cairo University. Muslim Brotherhood’s protesters met the operation defiant and deadly clashes erupted between the Islamist’s supporters and Egypt’s security forces. The operation lasted for nearly 12 hours and left at least 638 people dead and nearly 5000 injured, according to the latest information of Egypt’s Health Ministry. Muslim Brotherhood though claims there have been more victims.

Armed Forces deployed in the cities of Cairo
The wave of violence was spread in Egypt nationwide including different districts of Cairo and other cities, such as Alexandria, Suez, Asiut, Ismailia, Sinai, Upper Egypt and others, with police stations, governmental buildings and Coptic churches attacked and torched nationwide. The second day after the protests’ dispersal was marked by the numerous attacks against police and military personnel as well and with the clashes between Islamist supporters and residents and security forces.

Friday’s marches called “Friday of Rage” have gathered thousands of Mohamed Morsy’s and Musilm Brotherhood’s supporters in Cairo’s downtown and also in other Egyptian governorates as well.

In Cairo the marches have started from at least 33 mosques and the protesters headed to Cairo’s Ramses Square in downtown, not very far from the iconic Tahrir Square.

Additional military and security forces troops and vehicles have been deployed in the area, several main roads including those leading to Rabaa Al-Adaweya Square, Tahrir Square and other locations in Cairo’s downtown have been blocked by army and security forces as well to prevent the protesters to get there.

There have been also the reports that the CSF personnel guarding the police stations, governmental building and other important facilities have received the orders to respond with the live ammunition against any attempt to attack those facilities, as it is stipulated by the law.
Military helicopter have been circulated above the sites of the protests.

Clashes at 15 May Bridge, Cairo
Though violent clashes erupted between the Islamist protesters, local resident and security forces during the Friday marches. Protesters have been throwing stones and rocks, the gunfire was also heard. There were the reports that several Muslim Brotherhood’s supporters have been noticed with the weapons and live ammunition.

Security forces in its turn have been also shooting teargas to disperse the crowds.
The clashes left at least 173 dead and hundreds of injured in Egypt, according to the latest reports of Egypt’s Health Ministry.

The situation in the country remains tense amid the ongoing violent clashes and attacks against police and military personnel and facilities and sectarian clashes as well. State of emergency for at least one month has been declared by Egypt’s Presidency and curfew imposed in several Egyptian governorates including the capital.