Clashes across Egypt left at least 33 people dead and more than 90 wounded on Sunday. The clashes were part of an ongoing crisis that began when the army seized power three months ago.
Fighting started when supporters and opponents of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood took to the streets. Reports from the scene stated that most of the fatalities were caused by gunfire.
Authorities warned of possible retaliation against rival protesters as the nation celebrated the 40th anniversary of an Egyptian military campaign against Israeli forces on the Sinai Peninsula.
Egyptian forces fired tear gas into the crowd and sounds of gunfire echoed across the capital. Like in many previous clashes, Tahrir Square was a central location for Egypt’s violence. While thousands of military supporters converged on the square, waving flags and cheering the military, supporters of ousted President Morsi attempted to get through.
The clashes weren’t a surprise for Egyptian residents, including protester Khaled Hassein, 46, a teacher who stood among a crowd in the Cairo neighborhood of Dokki. He commented, “But I came anyway. My principles forced me to come.”
Thousands of Egyptians much like Hassein have protested the July 3 coup for the past three months. Morsi was elected by a democratic vote, but was blamed by many for inadequately governing the country. Since the coup, thousands of Brotherhood members have been arrested. Hundreds of people have also died in the past few months.
The Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, blamed Sunday’s deaths on army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the Interior Ministry. In a statement, the party asserted, “We call on human rights organizations to condemn the crimes committed today. We call for an international investigation into the crimes of today.”
Morsi supporters explained they were trying to reach Tahrir Square so that they can raise their voices against the violence still plaguing the country. With the latest Egypt clashes, the end of violence in the country is hard to predict.
[Image by Al Jazeera English via Wikimedia Commons]