Jul 8, 2013
Dozens of supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi are reported to have been killed outside a military facility and a nearby mosque in Egypt.
Accounts vary of what exactly happened.
The Military contends that “an armed terrorist group” affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood tried to storm the Republican Guard headquarters — where Morsi is belived to be held — with live ammunition and firebombs shortly after dawn.
There were dawn prayers and then I heard someone calling for help, so the imam finished the prayers quickly. Just before we finished, the shooting started. The army units that were standing in front of the Republican Guards’ headquarters first started shooting tear gas, then live ammunition above people’s heads.
Tweets from reporters on the ground give a further sense of what happened.
Egyptian massacre: two witnesses say the attack began at dawn prayer, the Islamists protestors were unarmed, ran in panic
— David D. Kirkpatrick (@kirkpatricknyt) July 8, 2013
All of those interviewed were clear that the shooting started as the protesters’ mass dawn prayers were coming to a close.
— Patrick Kingsley (@PatrickKingsley) July 8, 2013
Everyone, including doctors, had the same story at the sit-in firing started during dawn prayers,live ammo, birdshot &tear gas used #egypt
— Bel Trew – بل ترو (@Beltrew) July 8, 2013
The event could lead to a major escalation in an already unstable situation.
Morsi’s Freedom and Justice Party has already called for an “uprising” based on the incident, and Russian President Valdimir Putin said that Egypt is on the verge of civil war.
The incident occured near the Rabaa al-Adawaiya mosque, where Morsi supporters have been gathering for massive demonstrations and are staging an ongoing sit-in.
he Republican Guard, the senior-most Corps in the Egyptian Army and one of its largest Divisional commands, is an armored division with the main responsibility to defending the Capital of the Republic (mainly the major government and strategic industrial institutions).
This video (posted by Al-Jazeera) purports to show teargas being fired at Morsi supporters.
These videos, which are graphic, also shows the shooting’s aftermath.