At least four people were killed on Monday in deadly clashes between supporters and opponents of ousted Egyptian president Mohammad Mursi in central Cairo, the health ministry said.
A video posted on the internet showed suspected backers of Mursi opening fire at rival protesters who are camped in Tahrir Square.
At least 26 people were also injured as the rival camps exchanged volleys of stones and birdshot, emergency services said, according to AFP.
Police fired teargas to break up the crowds and Mursi’s foes said the security forces were clearly on their side.
“The police are with us. Those fascists attacked us again. May God punish them,” said Samir Hafiz, 22, with cuts on his hands and face, hurling rocks at the pro-Mursi activists from behind the police line, according to Reuters.
Witnesses said hundreds of young men clashed as backers of Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement appeared to try to march on Tahrir Square, epicenter of mass demonstrations which led Egypt’s army to oust the elected Islamist leader on July 3.
“They fired on us with birdshot and pistols. They tried to overrun the square.” said Tarik Sabir, 41, an employee in a petrol company, who was wounded in the thigh by birdshot.
As dusk fell, the clashes faded and Mursi’s opponents returned to their sit-in at Tahrir, blowing whistles triumphantly and chanting “We saved the square!”
Tahrir Square has been a focal point for demonstrations since mass protests there led to the downfall of U.S.-backed strongman Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.
(With AFP and Reuters)