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Security forces clear Cairo mosque after stand-off

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Security forces clear Cairo mosque after stand-off


There was tear gas and confusion as the Egyptian security forces carried out their assault on the al-Fath mosque in central Cairo.

Protesters had occupied the mosque overnight on Friday, barricading themselves inside and using it as a makeshift hospital and morgue after violent clashes the day before.

Saturday morning began with security forces ringing the building and forcing back angry crowds who wanted to attack the supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood inside. Negotiations then began to try and get them to leave peacefully under escort.

The move by police came after they were shot at by gunmen on the minaret of the mosque.

Images broadcast on state television showed police exchanging fire with at least one armed man.

By afternoon, security forces had cleared the mosque, dispersing up to 400 people inside the building.

Egyptian authorities say they have arrested more than 1,000 Islamists after Friday’s ‘Day of Rage’ protests.

More than 800 people have lost their lives across the country in the days of unrest.

The government is blaming Islamists for attacks and damage caused to 12 churches.

Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi has proposed dissolving the Muslim Brotherhood.

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