Army said soldiers retaliated after armed terrorists tried to enter the republican guards headquarters
press trust of india
Cairo, 8 July
Deadly street violence erupted today between supporters of Egypt’s deposed President Mohamed Mursi and soldiers outside the army headquarters here, killing at least 51 people and injuring over 400 as the standoff escalated between the military-backed new interim government and the Muslim Brotherhood.
“The clashes left at least 51 civilians dead and 435 injured,” the ministry of health said in its latest update.
The army arrested over 200 attackers, who were carrying guns, ammunition, and Molotov cocktails, according to the state-run MENA news agency.
The clash took place outside the the Republican Guard headquarters, where 61-year-old toppled president is said to have been put “under guard”.
The army, in a statement, said “an armed terrorist group tried to storm” the Republican Guard compound and soldiers retaliated by firing.
The statement said an army officer was killed and 40 soldiers were injured during the incident.
However, the Muslim Brotherhood contradicted the army’s statement, saying military opened fired on its supporters, killing several pro-Mursi protesters.
Egypt’s interim administration led by Adli Mansour expressed “deep regret” for those killed in violence. It also formed a judicial committee to investigate the events.
The statement from the presidency stressed that everyone is guaranteed the right to protest, however it called on protesters to remain peaceful and avoid approaching vital institutions and military establishments.
Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood in a statement called for Mursi’s reinstatement and said the Shura Council, the parliament’s only operating house that was dissolved last week, was the “solution” to the current turmoil. “We will not compromise (Mursi’s) legitimacy (to complete his presidential term) and will not accept any alternatives,” the statement read.
The Brotherhood has called what happened in Egypt a “full military coup” driven by a desire for “controlling power… hidden behind a civil facade.”
However, the statement also asserted that the Brotherhood is “confident” the Egyptian army as a whole did not take part in “this conspiracy” which, the statement claimed, was planned and executed from the top by “military leaders” whom Mursi had trusted. The statement also condemned what it described as “oppressive and terrorist actions” taken against them.