TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

At least 60 die as 'Friday of Anger' targets Egyptians backing interim government

AFP/Getty Images - A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and of ousted president Mohamed Morsy takes cover during clashes with security officers near Cairo's Ramses Square on August 16, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AFP/Getty Images</em></div>A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and of ousted president Mohamed Morsy takes cover during clashes with security officers near Cairo's Ramses Square on August 16, 2013.
REUTERS - A supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shouts slogans during a protest outside Al-Fath Mosque in Ramses Square, in Cairo August 16, 2013. Thousands of supporters of Mursi took to the streets on Friday, urging a 'Day of Rage' to denounce this week's assault by security forces on Muslim Brotherhood protesters that killed hundreds.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>REUTERS</em></div>A supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shouts slogans during a protest outside Al-Fath Mosque in Ramses Square, in Cairo August 16, 2013. Thousands of supporters of Mursi took to the streets on Friday, urging a 'Day of Rage' to denounce this week's assault by security forces on Muslim Brotherhood protesters that killed hundreds.
Getty Images - An Egyptian military helicopter flies over central Cairo during fighting near Ramses Square on August 16, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>An Egyptian military helicopter flies over central Cairo during fighting near Ramses Square on August 16, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.
REUTERS - Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi run away from tear gas during clashes in Cairo August 16, 2013. Thousands of supporters of Mursi took to the streets on Friday, urging a 'Day of Rage' to denounce this week's assault by security forces on Muslim Brotherhood protesters that killed hundreds.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>REUTERS</em></div>Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi run away from tear gas during clashes in Cairo August 16, 2013. Thousands of supporters of Mursi took to the streets on Friday, urging a 'Day of Rage' to denounce this week's assault by security forces on Muslim Brotherhood protesters that killed hundreds.
Getty Images - Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi gather at the Fateh Mosque in Ramses Square for midday prayer on August 16, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi gather at the Fateh Mosque in Ramses Square for midday prayer on August 16, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.
REUTERS - An Egyptian soldier takes pictures outside the burnt Rabaa Adawiya mosque in Cairo August 16, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>REUTERS</em></div>An Egyptian soldier takes pictures outside the burnt Rabaa Adawiya mosque in Cairo August 16, 2013.
Getty Images - Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi gather at the Fateh Mosque in Ramses Square for midday prayer on August 16, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi gather at the Fateh Mosque in Ramses Square for midday prayer on August 16, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.
Getty Images - Cards showing the face of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi lie on the ground as Morsi supporters gather at the Fateh Mosque in Ramses Square for midday prayer on August 16, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>Cards showing the face of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi lie on the ground as Morsi supporters gather at the Fateh Mosque in Ramses Square for midday prayer on August 16, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.
Getty Images - A supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi performs midday prayer at the Fateh Mosque in Ramses Square on August 16, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>A supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi performs midday prayer at the Fateh Mosque in Ramses Square on August 16, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.
Getty Images - An injured supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is carried into the al-Sednawi hospital near Ramses Square on August 16, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>An injured supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is carried into the al-Sednawi hospital near Ramses Square on August 16, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.
Getty Images - Injured supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi are driven into the al-Sednawi hospital near Ramses Square on August 16, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>Injured supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi are driven into the al-Sednawi hospital near Ramses Square on August 16, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.
Getty Images - A family member of a supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi killed during fighting with Egyptian Security Forces sits on the floor of the Fateh Mosque on August 16, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>A family member of a supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi killed during fighting with Egyptian Security Forces sits on the floor of the Fateh Mosque on August 16, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.

Daily Photo Galleries

Betsy Hiel Photo Galleries

Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, 7:03 p.m.
 

CAIRO — An Islamist “Friday of Anger” ignited clashes here and across Egypt, leaving 60 dead and more churches, police stations and government buildings burned.

The violence, which shows no sign of abating, had the capital ringing with gunfire and Egyptians on edge. More neighborhoods set up committees to protect homes, shops and residents from attacks.

The Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies organized the day's demonstrations to protest the clearing of their two sit-ins by police and soldiers — a confrontation that left nearly 700 dead on Wednesday.

The Islamists plan a week of protests against the interim government installed by the military, which deposed Mohamed Morsy, a Brotherhood figure, as president.

“This certainly is a battle to determine the near-future of this country,” said Hisham Kassem, a media publisher and longtime human-rights activist.

On state-run television, a banner in English read “Egypt Fighting Terrorism,” while an independent channel posted a similar message: “The word of the people against extremism.”

Twenty-eight Islamist marches tried to converge downtown. As one of those crossed an overpass in the upscale island-neighborhood of Zamalek, marchers held up posters of Morsy or opened Qurans, chanting: “There is no god but Allah, and Sisi is the enemy of Allah” — a reference to Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi, the military chief who led Morsy's ouster.

Angry residents and police firing tear gas blocked the large march as it crossed the Nile. Gunfire thundered across the fabled river as the opposing sides pushed back and forth.

Some of that gunfire clearly came from Islamists, and photojournalists and Egyptian state TV filmed armed men among the pro-Morsy marchers.

As bullets zipped into the river, angry neighborhood residents cursed the Brotherhood before scrambling to safety.

“The Brotherhood are terrorists,” said one man trying to fish from the riverbank. Another accused them of “trying to destroy the country.”

Security forces said 52 civilians and eight policemen were killed in running street battles.

Egyptian officials tried to counter international criticism of the violence by directing foreign journalists to Internet videos of church burnings, Islamists using weapons or raising the black flag of al-Qaida, and other jihadi groups protesting downtown.

One video showed an armed Morsy supporter near the Four Seasons Hotel in Garden City, just blocks from the U.S. Embassy.

For a second day, the embassy urged Americans to leave Egypt.

The state media agency, MENA, said more than five cars “driven by masked men have reached Ramses Square to distribute firearms.”

In an Internet posting in English, the Brotherhood condemned attacks on churches. Yet one chapter of its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, posted an Arabic screed against Christians on its Facebook page.

It accused Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros of involvement in Morsy's ouster, adding: “Burning houses of worship is a crime. And for the (Christian) Church to declare a war against Islam and Muslims is a crime. For every action there is a reaction.”

Some Muslims and Christians joined to protect churches, said Ishak Ibrahim, a religious-freedom researcher at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. But he reported more than five Christians had been killed in recent attacks on provincial churches.

In Suez and other regions, the military halted protests. In parts of Upper Egypt, however, large rallies occurred.

At dusk, an older man sat on a chair in Cairo's Zamalek section, a shotgun across his lap, as gunfire echoed across the capital. By nightfall, with a military curfew in effect, the normally loud and crowded streets fell eerily quiet and deserted.

But a military helicopter thumped overhead, as flames burst from the windows of a large downtown building set ablaze during the day.

Betsy Hiel is the Tribune-Review's foreign correspondent. Email her at bhiel@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Crosby, Malkin chase scoring title amid defense-minded league
  2. Duquesne knocks off Fordham behind 10 3-pointers
  3. High school notebook: Latrobe’s Shaffer accepts offer to wrestle at Virginia
  4. Pirates look to put more pressure on opposition through improved baserunning
  5. Agent: Polamalu undecided whether to play in 2015
  6. NYC public schools to close on 2 major Muslim holidays
  7. Flooding hits Mon Wharf
  8. NFL notebook: Report: Manning set to return to Broncos, takes $4M pay cut
  9. Roadwork detailed for Pittsburgh’s East Ohio Street
  10. 11 Ligonier Township residents rescued by boat from floodwaters
  11. Ice jam wipes out McKeesport’s marina