Clashes Erupt in Demonstrations Throughout Egypt | Morsi’s Detention Extended

Egyptian pro-army protesters pack the iconic Tahrir square on Friday | Photo: Mai Shaheen

Egyptian pro-army protesters in Tahrir square | Photo: Mai Shaheen

Clashes between supporters and opponents of former president Morsi defined today’s events in Egypt. In Alexandria, they began in Mahatet Al-Raml when supporters of the military and interim government marched against “terrorism” and passed a several-thousand-strong pro-Morsi demonstration at Al-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque, leading to a confrontation in which a small number of anti-Morsi demonstrators became trapped in the mosque with a large crowd of pro-Morsi demonstrators. The anti-Morsi people were subject to interrogation and, according to recorded testimony after the fact, beatings. In Sidi Gaber Square, thousands of anti-Morsi demonstrators gathered, as well. In total, at least ten people, described by Daily News Egypt as “mostly anti-Morsi protestors,” were killed in Alexandria, while 146 were injured.

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In Cairo, the clashes began around 10:30pm in Nasr City, when pro-Morsi groups approached the 6 October Bridge. They began to throw rocks, and police later escalated the conflict with live fire. About 500 pro-Morsi demonstrators were wounded near the Unknown Soldier Memorial in Nasr City. Other clashes occurred near Khazendar Mosque in the Shubra neighborhood of Cairo, where thrown rocks led to dozens of injuries. Tahrir Square and the Ittihadeya presidential palace were focal points for vast crowds of both anti-Morsi and pro-military demonstrators (note that not all opponents of Morsi support the military’s actions). The violence that began late tonight in Cairo continued overnight, leading to dozens of deaths primarily early in the morning on July 27.

Elsewhere in Egypt, clashes occurred in Luxor, Mahalla (13 injured), Damietta (at least 18 injured), Arish, and Tanta, where six were injured. In Gharbiya, 10 people were injured, including a police officer. In total, hundreds were wounded throughout Egypt, including at least seven police officers. Hani Abdel-Latif, police spokesman, stated that 53 pro-Morsi supporters were arrested throughout Egypt for weapon possession.

According to Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, the pro-Morsi sit-in at Raba’a al-Adaweya will be removed by “legal means” due to complaints from nearby residents.

A court ruled that former President Morsi be detained for 15 more days while the state conducts an investigation into several charges, such as murder and collaboration with Hamas to escape from prison and destroy official records in 2011.