Islamists cleared from Cairo mosque, says security source

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Egyptian security forces cleared remaining Islamist protesters from a Cairo mosque on Saturday, after a stand-off and an exchange of fire, a security source told AFP.

The Fath Mosque, located in Cairo’s central Ramses Square, was besieged by security forces after gunmen fired on them from the building’s minaret, Egypt’s official news agency MENA reported.

Local television stations broadcast live footage of soldiers firing assault rifles at the minaret, an Al Arabiya correspondent confirmed that an exchange of gunfire took place.

The official MENA news agency quoted security officials as saying that “armed elements” had been shooting at security forces and police from inside the mosque.

The mosque served as a field hospital and morgue following Friday’s clashes in the area. The protesters barricaded themselves inside overnight, reported AFP.

Egyptian journalist Shaimaa Awad told The Associated Press that security forces rounded up protesters inside the mosque.

Earlier on Saturday, one protester told AFP that about 1,000 people were trapped in the mosque.

A woman inside the mosque told AFP that “thugs” had tried to storm the building but the men barricaded the doors. It was not clear who the “thugs” she referred to were.

(With AFP and The Associated Press)