CAIRO — Gunfire rang out over a main Cairo overpass and police fired tear gas as clashes broke out after tens of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters took to the streets Friday across Egypt in defiance of a military-imposed state of emergency following the country’s bloodshed earlier this week.
Fighting first erupted near the Foreign Ministry in the Egyptian capital, according to an Associated Press reporter who saw protesters and people below an overpass throw rocks and bottles at each other. Gunshots rang out during the march. It was not immediately clear who was clashing with whom.
Opponents of President Mohammed Morsi have attempted to storm the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo, the organization’s spokesman has said. Four people have been killed and over 200 injured on Sunday as millions took to the streets.
Violence had been widely anticipated ahead of Sunday’s multi-million-strong countrywide protests against the president on the anniversary of his inauguration, demanding his resignation.
Gehad El-Haddad, the spokesman for the Brotherhood, which nominated Morsi as its candidate ahead of last year’s elections, said several dozen protesters shot at the windows with shotguns, and threw Molotov cocktails and rocks at the building, which had been fortified in recent weeks.
Backers of Islamist President Morsi face off against the leader’s opponents;
Muslim Brotherhood offices stormed in 3 governorates;
Party headquarters torched.
An Egyptian protester waves the national flag over Tahrir Square, the focal point of the Egyptian uprising, as opponents of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi gather in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, June 28, 2013. Tens of thousands of backers and opponents of Egypt’s Islamist president held competing rallies in the capital Friday and new clashes erupted between the two sides in the country’s second largest city, Alexandria, in a prelude to massive nationwide protests planned by the opposition this weekend demanding Mohammed Morsi’s removal. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Three people, among them an American Jewish citizen, Andrew Pochter, 21, were killed and 85 injured as tens of thousands of backers and opponents of President Mohammed Morsi held competing rallies in Cairo Friday. New clashes also erupted between the two sides in the country’s second largest city, Alexandria, in a prelude to massive nationwide protests planned by the opposition this weekend demanding Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s removal.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s offices in three Egyptian governorates were stormed by opposition protesters and the Freedom and Justice Party headquarters in Alexandria were torched, Ahram Online reported Friday.
“Egypt is in a free fall,” commented Channel 2′s Arab affairs analyst Ehud Ya’ari Friday evening.