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Governorates plagued with clashes

Dozens killed in clashes throughout governorates on Morsi supporters' "Friday of Rage"

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Clashes erupted in different governorates on “Friday of Rage” called fro by Muslim Brotherhood supporters
Ahmed Al-Malky

Dozens were killed in clashes nationwide as supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood party organised marches condemning the forcible dispersal of their Cairo sit-ins.

Security forces forcibly dispersed the Raba’a Al-Adaweya sit-in and Al-Nahda sit-in on Wednesday, sparking a cycle of violence which left at least 638 people killed.

The protester’s attempt to rally outside the Gharbeya Governorate Building and Security Directorate in Tanta on Friday led to clashes between them, security forces and armed residents.

According to state-run Al-Ahram, Morsi supporters were attempting to storm the buildings when security forces fired teargas to stop them, killing four and injuring 80.

Islam Molda, accountant and political activist in Tanta, claimed the death toll was nine: seven from the Brotherhood march, and two from the armed residents.

“The armed residents were clearly aligned with the security forces,” Molda said. “Whenever the Morsi supporters would try to attack them, security forces would teargas the former.”

Molda stated both parties were armed. Hatem Othman, Gharbeya Security Director, told Al-Ahram 11 protestors were arrested, possessing bladed weapons and firearms.

Injuries sustained by the marchers included wounds from live gunshots and birdshot, while armed residents’ injuries included stabbing and birdshot. Mohamed Sharshar, the deputy minister of health in Gharbeya stated that the clashes left 72 injured, including 16 Central Security Forces conscripts, Al-Ahram reported.

In Fayoum, a pro-Morsi march allegedly tried to break into the local security directorate, but was halted by security forces. Amr Fares, Al-Dostour leading member in Fayoum, stated marchers also clashed with residents, adding that both parties were armed.

Medhat Shokry, Ministry of Health Deputy in Fayoum, told state-run news agency MENA that clashes left nine killed and 63 injured. 22 Brotherhood supporters were arrested for attempting to break into the Security Directorate, rioting and clashing with security forces, MENA reported.

Clashes also erupted in the vicinity of Al-Arab police station in Port Said, when Morsi supporters allegedly tried to break in. Protesters, allegedly armed with automatic rifles, clashed with security forces, leaving three killed and 64 injured, reported Al-Ahram.

Mahmoud Qandil, Port Said accountant and political activist, stated there were minor skirmishes around the Port Said Governorate Building and Security Directorate, as well.

“The skirmishes didn’t amount to anything since both building were highly secured by police forces and armed forces,” Qandil said.

Clashes in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria broke out between Morsi supporters and security forces, Reuters reported. Osama Abul Seood, the Alexandria University Hospital director, told Al-Ahram the clashes occurred between Morsi supporters and residents and left six killed with live gunshots and 40 injured.

Mohamed Soudan, Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) spokesman in Alexandria, said a pro-Morsi march took off from Al-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque after the Friday prayer to bury one of those killed during the forcible dispersal of the Rabaa sit-in.

“We were surprised to find the march attacked by armed forces and thugs,” Soudan said. He added that the attackers used armoured vehicles, birdshot, and swords. “At least 25 people were killed.”

Protesters then moved to Stanley Bridge, where they were reportedly attacked by residents. Soudan stated that those attacking them were not “residents” but “hired thugs”.

In Kafr Al-Sheikh, three were killed and tens injured in clashes which resulted from a pro-Morsi march headed towards the Kafr Al-Sheikh Governorate Building and Security Director, MENA reported.

Ahmed Ashour, a Khafr Al-Sheikh lawyer and political activist, said clashes erupted between protesters and pro-army residents when the former began chanting against the armed forces and Defence Minister Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi.

Whereas 14 people were reportedly killed in Suez after security forces dispersed a sit-in set up by Morsi supporters in Al-Arbaeen Square on Friday, Al-Ahram reported. The dispersal came in accordance to the night curfew issued by interim president Adly Mansour on Wednesday.

At least 10 were shot during the dispersal, Al-Ahram reported. Osama Askar, commander of the third field army, gave orders to momentarily stop shooting at the square to allow protesters a safe exit, Al-Ahram reported.

12 of the Muslim Brotherhood supporters were arrested for firing at the armed forces and breaking the curfew, MENA reported.

In Al-Arish city of North Sinai, at least four civilians were killed and 15 injured in clashes between Morsi supporters and security forces near the Fire Department, reported Al-Ahram.

Ashraf Osama, Al-Dostour party leading member in North Sinai, said people within a pro-Morsi march broke into the Fire Department and burnt down two fire trucks, adding that five protesters were killed during the break-in. Osama added that Brotherhood protesters used molotov cocktails and rocks.

MENA reported five deaths and 14 injuries during the dispersal of a pro-Morsi march in

Minya also witnessed clashes as Morsi supporters allegedly attempted to storm the Minya Governorate Building and Security Directorate, Al-Ahram reported. The clashes left two Morsi supporters killed and five injured.

In Sohag, one protester was killed and six others injured after unknown assailants shot at a pro-Morsi march which attacked the Sohag police station with rocks. The march’s attacks were met with teargas and gunshots in the air by security forces.

Soudan denied that pro-Morsi marches nationwide attempted to break into any governorate or security buildings. “On the contrary, the march I joined in Alexandria would take alternative routes to avoid going past police stations,” Soudan claimed. “Why would an unarmed march attack armed security forces who have orders to shoot at us?”

Soudan claimed that at certain instances, when pro-Morsi marches were incapable of avoiding government or security building, they were attacked by security forces.

24 police men were killed in “acts of violence” nationwide within the past 24 hours, MENA reported.

The National Coalition to Support Legitimacy called for a “million-man march of rage” to denounce what it described as the “violent campaign” security forces launched against protesters , and called for the reinstatement of Morsi.

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