Dozens Dead in Egypt Protests

Military opens fire on supporters of Muslim Brotherhood

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 27, 2013 5:53 AM CDT

(Newser) – Those slim hopes that Egypt would get through the ouster of Mohamed Morsi without anymore major violence came to a quick end overnight. The military opened fired on Morsi supporters in Cairo before dawn, leaving dozens dead, reports Reuters. Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood estimates at least 70 people were killed. "They are not shooting to wound, they are shooting to kill," says a spokesman. Witnesses say the police first used tear gas to try to disperse protesters, but soon escalated to birdshot and then bullets, reports AP.

The violence came after both sides staged mass rallies yesterday. Egypt's military leader had encouraged supporters to stage a demonstration to give him a "mandate" to stop terrorism, widely interpreted to mean going after the Brotherhood. And that appears to have been exactly what happened. “This is a preparation for eliminating the Brotherhood,” a political science professor at the American University in Cairo tells the New York Times.

Supporters of Mohamed Morsi are seen in the smoke of tear gas fired by riot police during clashes.   (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
A blood-stained supporter of Mohammed Morsi walks as others carry an injured man to a field hospital.   (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
An injured man is taken to a field hospital on a motorcycle.   (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi comforts a relative of wounded man.   (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)
Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi carry an injured man to a field hospital following clashes in Cairo.   (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra))
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