Thirteen killed in Brotherhood clashes with police in Egypt

Fri Jan 3, 2014 4:14pm EST
 

By Maggie Fick

CAIRO (Reuters) - Thirteen people were shot dead as supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood clashed with police across Egypt on Friday, defying an ever-widening state crackdown on the movement that ruled the country until six months ago.

Islamists opposed to the army's overthrow of President Mohamed Mursi in July have been holding daily demonstrations, even since the army-backed government declared his Brotherhood a terrorist group last week, increasing the penalties for dissent.

The government is using the new classification to detain hundreds of Brotherhood supporters. Thousands more, including top leaders of the group, have been in jail for months, arrested in the aftermath of the army takeover.

The crackdown has reduced but not entirely broken the ability of the Brotherhood to mobilize protests. It has lately been relying on students to sustain momentum against what it refers to as the "putschist regime" governing Egypt.

In the Cairo district of Nasr City, riot police in bulletproof vests fired teargas at protesters throwing fireworks and stones. Similar clashes erupted across the country, as has become commonplace after midday prayers on Friday, which is not a working day in Egypt.

The Health Ministry said five people were killed in different districts in Cairo. A security source said they died from bullet wounds.

One of the five was a man who was shot dead by the protesters after he yelled insults at pro-Brotherhood demonstrators marching near his house, the source said.

A male protester and a woman were shot dead in the coastal city of Alexandria, medical and security sources said. It was not clear whether the woman was a protester or an onlooker.   Continued...

 
Supporters and opponents of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi clash at Nasr City district in Cairo, January 3, 2014. REUTERS/ Mohamed Abd El Ghany