Pro-Morsi protests across Egypt, at least 5 people killed
CAIRO — Angry Islamist supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi confronted troops across Egypt yesterday, while the military-backed interim President dissolved the Islamist-dominated Upper House of Parliament and appointed a new intelligence chief.
Witnesses said at least five demonstrators were killed by gunfire.
The army denied blame. An army spokesman said troops did not open fire on the demonstrators, and soldiers used only blank rounds and teargas to control the crowd. Security sources said at least three protesters were shot dead yesterday outside the Republican Guard barracks in Cairo where Mr Morsi is being held.
Tens of thousands of Morsi supporters filled much of a boulevard outside a Cairo mosque several blocks away from the Republican Guard headquarters, vowing to remain in place until Mr Morsi is restored. They railed against what they called the return of the regime of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in early 2011.
“The old regime has come back ... worse than before,” said Mr Ismail Abdel-Mohsen, an 18-year-old student among the crowds outside the mosque. He dismissed the new interim head of state sworn in a day earlier, senior judge Adly Mansour, as “the military puppet”.
Thousands of Morsi supporters demonstrated in cities across the country on what his Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, called a “Friday of rage” against what they describe as a military coup on Wednesday that toppled Egypt’s first elected leader after rallies that started on Sunday.
The military has moved against the Brotherhood’s senior leadership, arresting the group’s supreme leader and a string of other figures.
Thousands of Islamists took to the streets of Alexandria and Assiut to protest against the removal of Mr Morsi and reject a planned interim government backed by their liberal opponents.
In the Suez city of Ismailia, soldiers fired into the air as Morsi supporters tried to break into the governor’s office.
Egypt’s liberal coalition issued an “urgent call” for its supporters to take to the streets in response to Islamist protests, raising the risk of clashes between the rival groups.