Three civilians and one policeman were killed Saturday morning in Damietta, according to Ministry of Health spokesperson Hossam Abdel Ghaffar.
“There have been no further reports on other injuries,” Abdel Ghaffar said.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Interior a few hours after the events, security forces stormed the village of Basarta Saturday morning, and arrested 18 people allegedly in possession of weapons.
“The mission was to arrest wanted ‘terrorist elements’ but as soon as our forces entered the village, they came under fire,” the statement read.
According to MENA, the security forces included National Security and Central Security Forces.
On the other hand, a locally-based journalist told Daily News Egypt that clashes erupted early in the morning after some “Muslim Brotherhood protesters” gathered and began marching. “As the police began dispersing them, there was an exchange of fire, which resulted in the four killings,” he said.
He further explained that protesters set fire to the garage of a well-known bus company using Molotov cocktails, which led police forces to tighten security and close the village’s entrances and exits.
According to the reporter, three nearby schools had to close and send students home, postponing their first day of final exams.
The governor’s office in Damietta said the situation has been tense since last Tuesday, but said they did not have updated information on the current situation, denying that they had received any orders to close schools and suspend classes.
The situation in the governorate has been heating up in the past week. Last week, a police conscript was killed in clashes Tuesday night between anti-government protesters and riot police, leaving over 20 injuries and 13 arrests.
The Muslim Brotherhood issued a statement Saturday afternoon in which they described the violent events as part of their resistance against the rule of the military, adding that their “revolution will not stop”.
The statement suggests that Brotherhood protests have been taking place during the past six days in Damietta, and that there are more to expect during the coming days.