Egypt: more deaths as 'March of Anger' protests turn ugly
Violence returns to Egypt in week 638 people died in clashes between protesters and security forces
THERE were more deaths in Egypt today as tens of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters took to the streets in a 'March of Anger' protest triggered by this week's slaughter of 638 people.
With Egyptian army troops now authorised to use live ammunition to defend themselves and state institutions, more deaths were almost inevitable.
The BBC's Jeremy Bowen says at least 12 people were killed in central Cairo in the first hours of today's protests. He saw 11 bodies and many badly-injured people near central Ramses Square, the focal point of Muslim Brotherhood protests.
More deaths – 12, according to some reports – occurred in northern cities including Damietta and Ismailia.
The latest clashes came after the Muslim Brotherhood called on its supporters to join protest marches in Cairo and other cities after the observation of Friday prayers at midday. The response was emphatic: people poured out of mosques and onto the streets to be met by armoured vehicles in the main squares and police and troops armed with semi-automatic rifles and machine guns.
In Ramses Square, the vast landmark that has been the scene of some of the worst violence, police fired salvoes of tear gas at protesters who responded by hurling stones.
The demonstrations are taking place under the slogan "the people want to topple the coup" - referring to the military's removal of Egypt's first democratically-elected Muslim president, Mohamed Morsi, on 3 July.
But the army is not the only force opposing the protesters. Members of anti-Morsi organisations - the National Salvation Front and Tamarod – have called for counter-demonstrations in response to the Muslim Brotherhood protests.
"Egypt is in a deepening, really serious crisis - I can't see how they can get out of it without a lot more violence and death," said Bowen. ·