Blood is in the streets of Cairo on Saturday.
Turning the fears of many into reality, the political tensions following the recent military takeover of the country took another lethal turn after security forces turned their guns on supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, with reports saying that well over one hundred people could be dead with many more wounded.
The exact number of dead was not clear, but reports ranged from 70 to more than 130 with makeshift hospitals and morgues filling up with bodies and ambulances cascading through the streets.
The shooting began in the pre-dawn hours in Cairo in an area where members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood were holding a ongoing sit-in calling for his release and an end to the military takeover.
“They are not shooting to wound, they are shooting to kill,” Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad told Reuters in the aftermath.
Haddad said police started firing repeated rounds of teargas after 3:00 a.m. local time, aiming at protesters who had spilled out of the main area of the sit-in were on a main thoroughfare near Nasr City.
In addition to “special police forces in black uniforms” firing live rounds, Haddad described sniper shots from the roofs of nearby buildings and a bridge.
A doctor at the make-shift morgue nearby said “most of the dead were hit in the head, some between the eyes.”
Al Jazeera spoke to Amr Gamal, an anti-military supporter who was in Nasr City during the clashes:
The Guardian’s correspondent Patrick Kingsley, said the hospitals were overwhelmed, tweeting:
Indepenent journalist Sharif Adbel Kouddous is tweeting from Cairo:
And follow Kingsley’s Twitter feed here:
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Republished from: Common Dreams