Shots Fired in Cairo as 'Friday of Rejection' Spurs Counter Protests

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by
Common Dreams

Shots Fired in Cairo as 'Friday of Rejection' Spurs Counter Protests

Reports of three dead, several wounded before calm temporarily restored

by
Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

Reports surfaced Friday afternoon that the Egyptian military opened fire on large crowds who had gathered in support of the recently ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.

Al Jazeera is reporting that at least three were killed and several dozen were injured by gunfire as a crowd of several hundred tried to march towards the military barracks in Cairo where Morsi is believed to be held.

Pro-Morsi demonstrators had gathered throughout the day in eastern Cairo for a "Friday of Rejection" to express anger over the country's complex popular revolution and what some are calling a subsequent military coup and were marching on the headquarters of the Republican Guard when the shots were fired.

Morsi's ousted party, the Muslim Brotherhood, had called for the "day of rejection" after "a series of raids and arrests that decimated the Muslim Brotherhood's senior ranks and consolidated the military's hold on the country," including the arrest of the Brotherhood's supreme leader, Mohamed al-Badie, as the Guardian reports.

The Egyptian army has denied the claims that it has opened fire on the crowds.

According to Sharif Abdel Kouddous, Egyptian-American journalist and Democracy Now! correspondent, who has been offering on-the-ground reports and commentary, the situation has calmed for the time being, but the pro-Morsi crowd is still growing.

Kouddous reports live on his Twitter feed:

Earlier, members of the Muslim Brotherhood had read a statement to a large crowd of Brotherhood supporters near the Rabia al-Adawiya mosque in Nasr City within the Egyptian capital.

It read:

We declare our complete rejection of the military coup staged against the elected president and the will of the nation. We refuse to participate in any activities with the usurping authorities.

Tens of thousands were expected at the mosque throughout the day, with other rallies expected to pop up around the country.

Dozens of people were wounded in clashes in Morsi's home city Zagazig on Thursday, adding to fears that today's demonstrations would lead to similar results.

Additionally one Egyptian soldier was killed and three injured in fighting in North Sinai, where reportedly pro-Brotherhood fighters attacked a military checkpoint at Gura.

See below for more live tweets:

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