CAIRO: Egyptian Islamists called for an uprising after dozens of its supporters were “massacred” on Monday while demonstrating against last week’s military coup, dashing the Army’s hopes of broad support for an interim civilian administration.
The Muslim Brotherhood movement, which has refused to accept the army’s toppling of its champion Mohamed Morsi, who won Egypt’s first freely contested presidential election, called for international intervention to prevent a Syria-style civil war.
The bloodshed outside the Cairo headquarters of the elite Republican Guard came just hours before the caretaker president installed by the army had been due to announce his choice of interim prime minister.
It had been delayed by strong opposition from the ultra-conservative Islamist Al-Nur party to President Adly Mansour’s first choice, Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, and the party announced it was pulling out of talks entirely in response to Monday’s “massacre”.
The Brotherhood said its activists were holding dawn prayers at their protest camp outside the Guard’s headquarters when security forces opened fire, leaving at least 35 of them dead.
“Morsi supporters were praying while the police and army fired live rounds and tear gas at them. This led to around 35 dead and the figure is likely to rise,” the Brotherhood said.
A senior medical official told Agence France-Presse at least 42 people were killed and 322 wounded in the shooting.
The army said “armed terrorists” tried to storm the base, leaving one security officer dead and six critically wounded.
The Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, called for “an uprising by the great people of Egypt against those trying to steal their revolution with tanks”.
It urged “the international community and international groups and all the free people of the world to intervene to stop further massacres . . . and prevent a new Syria in the Arab world”.