Reports from the Egyptian capital indicate that more than 100 people are believed to have been killed in the city at a protest held by supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.
Protest began yesterday after Friday prayers and continued overnight until Clashes erupted between protestors and security forces around the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in central Cairo.
Medical personnel at the field hospital close to the protest told reporters that in addition to the dead, more than 1,000 people has been injured and are currently receiving medical attention. They say the death toll is likely to increase judging from some of the injuries.
Army chief Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi had earlier told people in a televise address to take to the streets to give the army a mandate for its intervention to use force to stop any protest from pro-Morsi supporters.
Mr. Morsi is still being held by the army and he was charged yesterday with plotting with the Palestinian movement group, Hamas to destabilize the country.
Both pro- and anti-Morsi supporters had been holding huge protests in Cairo since Friday prayers with anti-Morsi supporters camping at Tahrir Square in support of the army who removed Morsi from office.
Reporters say it is not clear whether the clashes around the mosque was a deliberate attempt by the security forces to clear the area, but others are suspecting that it could be a planned operation by the security forces as Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim was quoted as saying that he will do everything possible to end the sit-in protest at the mosque yesterday.
But the state news agency Mena reported that source from the security forces say no live fire had been used and that only tear gas was used to prevent supporters of Mr. Morsi from blocking a main road in the area.
Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el-Haddad was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying that the security forces are using live bullets and are shooting to kill Egyptians.
Senior Brotherhood politician, Saad el-Hosseini, also added that it was an attempt by security forces to clear the mosque area of supporters of the Brotherhood and Mr. Morsi.
“I have been trying to make the youth withdraw for five hours. I can’t. They are saying they have paid with their blood and they do not want to retreat,” he said.
Mr. Morsi supporters are believed to be angry about the role of the military and some are blaming and accusing Gen Sisi, who they say is killing Egyptians for no apparent reason.
There have been reports of clashes in Egypt’s second city of Alexandria where reporters say at least 10 people have also been killed in clashes between supporters and ant-supporters of Morsi.
Political analysts say Egypt is on the brink of sliding into a civil war and that all parties concern including the international community should act now to avoid further calamity.
Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News