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Two killed, tens injured in clashes in Cairo, army clears city center of Morsi backers

July 06, 2013, 1:04 UTC+3
Fierce clashes raged for about three hours in the area of Abdel Moneim Riad Square, close to Tahrir Square
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

CAIRO, July 6 (Itar-Tass) - Two died and tens of others were injured in clashes between the opponents and supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, in the center of Cairo, Egyptian television said Friday evening.

Fierce clashes raged for about three hours in the area of Abdel Moneim Riad Square, close to Tahrir Square. The violence began when Islamists heading for the television center attacked the revolutionaries in Cairo’s central square. The city center turned into a real battlefield, with shots fired all over the area. The activists of hostile factions were hurling stones and Molotov cocktails and firing flares and fireworks. Morsi’ supporters opened indiscriminate fire with shotguns to force demonstrators to leave the October 6 Bridge across the Nile for a while.

Witnesses say many of those wounded are in critical condition. Improvised first aid has to be given on site, because ambulances are often unable to approach the scene of clashes. Activists in Tahrir have launched a blood draw campaign.

The police and military for a long time refrained from intervening. Army and police vehicles began to be brought to the bridge a short while ago. The area of the state television broadcasting studios and the October 6 Bridge have been cleared of Morsi’s supporters. Their opponents have moved in.

In the meantime, violence is spilling over to other areas of the city. At the moment clashes are underway near Cairo’s university and the presidential Abdeen Palace.

Tensions are high in Alexandria. The worst clashes there occurred in the Sidi Jaber quarter, where one person is reported to have been killed and 300 others injured. About an hour ago army vehicles were moved into the space between Morsi’s opponents and backers, but the rioting goes on.

According to official Health Ministry statistics, Friday’s clashes left seven dead and about 260 injured. The Muslim Brotherhood claims that seventeen of its activists were killed on Friday. They urged supporters to refrain from violence and keep protests peaceful.

A nighttime curfew has been imposed on Rafah and Sheik Zueid, in the north of the Sinai Peninsula. The army fears there may be more attacks on law enforcers. On Friday, five police and one military serviceman were killed there.

Egypt’s provisional President Adli Mansur is expected to introduce a curfew in the most troubled provinces of the country, including Cairo shortly.

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