Thirty-eight people have been killed in clashes between security forces and supporters of ousted Islamist president Morsi in Egypt today, the country's Health Ministry says. Street battles raged for hours in Cairo, as demonstrators fired birdshot and threw firebombs at police who responded with gunshots and tear gas. The clashes took place on the 40th anniversary of the start of the 1973 Mideast war—a holiday the military-backed government had wanted to use to pay tribute to the armed forces, whose chief ousted Morsi in a coup in July.
In some cases today, pro-military crowds set upon Morsi supporters, with the two sides pelting each other with rocks. By late evening, several parts of the city resembled combat zones, with fires burning, black smoke rising and the crack of gunfire piercing the air, thick with tear gas. Authorities say 32 died in the capital. An AP photographer reports seeing nine bodies lying on the floor in the Cairo district of Dokki, the scene of some of the heaviest clashes. He says most bodies had gunshot wounds to the head or chest.