The Egyptian military opened fire on a sit-in of Morsi supporters, killing at least 35 and wounding many more. The shooting happened outside Republican Guards headquarters in Cairo, where the former President Mohammed Morsi is reportedly being detained.
Witnesses reported that the military raided the sit-in and used live ammunition to disperse the crowd around 2:00 GMT. The estimated death toll from the incident ranged from 15 to 35 with some saying hundreds were injured.
Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood who attended the sit-in explained that members were unarmed and were fired on while they were praying outside the building. A spokesman for the political party, Ahmed Aref, added, “Sixteen people were killed and a hundred others injured, many of them in serious condition.”
Later on, the Egyptian health ministry explained that at least 35 people were killed in the shooting. Media reported that the army and police officers opened fire on Morsi supporters who attempted to climb the walls of the building.
The army added that it was retaliating against a “terrorist group” trying to storm the Republican Guards headquarters. A spokesman added that one officer was killed and 40 more were wounded during the clash.
The Egyptian military overthrew President Morsi last Wednesday after they issued an ultimatum for the Muslim Brotherhood leader to peacefully solve the protests by his opposition. Backed by demonstrators who shot off fireworks and celebrated, the military ousted Morsi.
In response, supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and former President Morsi have been staging protests every day. Monday’s incident was the second time the Egyptian military killed Morsi supporters in the past few days. The last time, BBC reporter/editor Jeremy Bowen was injured while covering the protests and shooting.
More than 30 people died last week and 1,400 others were wounded since Wednesday. However, Monday’s shooting changes those numbers significantly. Over the weekend, the military released a statement saying that it would upgrade security efforts for the demonstrations. The statement added:
“We also warn against any provocation or clashes with the peaceful demonstrators. Anyone who violates these instructions will be dealt with firmly in accordance with the law.”
Along with machine guns, witnesses reported that the Egyptian military used tear gas against the Morsi supporters on Monday morning.