CAIRO (Reuters) - Four protesters and a policeman were killed in Cairo on Thursday, the government said, one year after government forces killed hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators in the worst bloodshed in Egypt’s recent history.
The health ministry said four protesters were killed and 13 others wounded during clashes with security forces. Five people were injured in skirmishes outside the capital.
An interior ministry statement said a policeman was also killed and another one wounded. It said 114 members of the Brotherhood were arrested across the country on Thursday for protesting and rioting.
Small, hit-and-run demonstrations are the most the group can muster after a fierce security crackdown has seen many thousands arrested and hundreds sentenced to death.
The Brotherhood, once Egypt’s most organised political movement, was declared a terrorist organisation last year, and its political wing was banned last week.
Violence has polarised Egyptians since the army overthrew elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi last year following mass protests against his rule.
Hundreds of supporters of Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood have been killed and thousands arrested since he was ousted, with the largest number of deaths occurring one year ago on Thursday, when security forces stormed two protest camps in Cairo.
Militant attacks have also increased since Mursi was toppled, with Sinai Peninsula-based militants killing soldiers and police in an insurgency the government has struggled to quell.
Human Rights Watch said this week that those killings were systematic, ordered by top officials and probably amount to crimes against humanity. The rights campaigning group called for a U.N. inquiry.
Reporting by Maggie Fick, Omar Fahmy and Mahmoud Mourad; editing by Ralph Boulton, Bernard Orr