Clashes at Islamist march in Egyptian capital kill 5

2015-07-17 15:59

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Cairo - Egyptian security forces and Muslim Brotherhood supporters traded gunfire that killed at least five people after clashes erupted during a Friday demonstration in Cairo, a security official said.

It was the deadliest violence at Islamist protests in months in the capital, despite a heavy security crackdown on the banned Brotherhood group, which authorities consider a terrorist organisation.

Friday's clashes began when over 500 Brotherhood supporters staged a march in the Talibiya neighborhood of Giza, which is part of greater Cairo, after morning prayers following the end of the holy month of Ramadan and the start of the major Muslim holiday, Eid al-Fitr.

Skirmishes first erupted between marchers on one side and some residents and police on the other. The violence quickly escalated with live ammunition and shotguns, said the official, who also said that four people were wounded.

Street violence

By noon, the clashes were still ongoing near the main road that leads to the famed Giza pyramids, with police trying to rein in the crowd. State news agency MENA reported that a total of six people were killed and that police had arrested 15 Brotherhood members.

According to the security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the media, street violence between Brotherhood supporters and police also erupted in the nearby town of Nahia, a Brotherhood stronghold.

Egypt faces threats from multiple insurgent factions, including the Islamic State affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula, which the military says killed at least 17 soldiers in a July 1 assault there. Officials from several branches of Egypt's security forces previously told The Associated Press that that attack killed dozens more.

In late June, the country's state prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, was assassinated in Cairo by a car bomb — an attack for which the Islamic State affiliate also claimed responsibility.

Read more on:    muslim brotherhood  |  egypt  |  north africa

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