Deadly Shootings Leave 42 Dead in Cairo as Situation Worsens
Egypt's unrest continued to escalate Monday, as 42 people were killed in shootings in the country's capital, and hundreds more were injured.
Although the exact course of events remain unclear, the violence broke out early Monday morning outside the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo, where ex-President Mohammed Morsi is allegedly being held.
Pro-Morsi supporters claim that they were simply staging a peaceful sit-in outside the barracks when the military opened fire at the protestors, killing 42 and wounding 322.
"They shot us with teargas, birdshot, rubber bullets—everything," said one Muslim Brotherhood demonstrator. "Then they used live bullets."
The Muslim Brotherhood's official spokesman, Gehad El-Haddad, said the protestors were praying peacefully when, at around 3.30 am, army and police forces started firing at sit-in protesters.
"We have people hit in the head, we have bullets that exploded as they entered the body, cluttering body parts," El-Haddad said.
But according to a military statement published on the state news agency, an "armed terrorist group" attempted to storm the barracks, killing one police officer and wounding another six. The army claims to have only then returned fire, after which it arrested 200 attackers who were carrying guns and live ammunition.
Another Muslim Brotherhood politician, Mohamed el-Beltagy, dismissed the army's statement as inaccurate.
"It is ridiculous that they say the Muslim Brotherhood members fired on anyone. Those reports by the military are false," he said.
Either way, the Salafist Nour Party—which had previously supported the military's removal of Morsi, in spite of its ultra-conservatism—has now withdrawn itself from talks with Egypt's interim President, Adli Mansour.
According to Al-Jazeera, a Nour Party spokesman said that "it is as if the former regime is back fully fleshed. We have seen false democracy. This is a strange scene that puts the military in the circle of accusation which we never hoped. We are not taking part in any political process."
Egypt's National Salvation Front (NSF)—a group of political parties which formed months ago, when Morsi first amended the constitution to grant himself extensive powers—has called for an inquiry into Monday's incidents.
"We request an urgent and just investigation in the tragic events that took place at dawn today in front of the headquarters of the Republican Guard," the NSF said in its statement.
Egypt's unrest began over a week ago, when hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to demand that President Mohammed Morsi be ousted, after which the military removed him from office and placed Adli Mansour as interim President in his place. Clashes between pro-Morsi groups and the military have since broken out, causing concern in the international community. The African Union has already suspended Egypt from all activities.