Blood soaked the streets of Cairo around Rabaa al-Adawiya Square after a night of deadly clashes between the Egyptian army and supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.
The Muslim Brotherhood said more than 70 people had been killed. Some reports put the number of injured as high as 4,000.
Medical centres are overflowing with wounded people, some riddled with bullet wounds. The head of the Rabaa al-Adawiya field hospital told euronews: “All those admitted are in serious condition. You can see for yourself, they’ve all got gunshot wounds.”
Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed al-Beltaji said the group would not back down in the face of persecution, telling euronews: “We are staying here in peaceful protest.”
“We have the right to stand in front of the world to say that all the people of Egypt have the right to choose their president, parliament and constitution. No military force has the right to one day wake up and suddenly decide who runs the government,” al-Beltaji continued.
The deadly overnight clashes came after a day of pro and anti-Mursi rallies. The former president was deposed by the military after mass protests against his year-long rule.
From Cairo, Mohamed Shaikhibrahim reported: “The period of 48 hours, which the army gave to negotiate on national reconciliation, has not ended. The deterioration of the security situation is clear through the bloody clashes we’ve seen at Rabaa al-Adawiya. The atmosphere here indicates fear that even worse could still be to come.”