At least six protesters killed, dozens arrested as Rabaa crackdown intensifies
At least six Egyptians were killed on Thursday, when security forces dispersed rallies marking the anniversary of the Rabaa massacre.
According to Turkish Anadolu Agency six protesters have now been confirmed killed by opposition forces, while the government has said that four people have been killed so far. A policeman was also killed in the clashes.
Thursday's demonstrations are being held by supporters of Mohamed Morsi, who was Egypt’s first democratically elected president but was overthrown last July by military-backed protests.
One protester was killed by birdshot in the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya after security forces dispersed a pro-Morsi rally in Giza's Mohandiseen district, according to sources quoted in Anadolu.
A second protester was killed by police gunfire during the dispersal of a similar protest in southern Cairo's Maadi district, the sources said.
Three more demonstrators, Omar Ramadan, 24, Eman Mohamed, 18, and Ahmed Labi, whose age is unknown, were also killed after shots were fired to disperse a pro-Morsi protest in eastern Cairo's Matariya neighbourhood. The sixth protester is believed to have been killed in the Mohandiseen district in western Cairo, although no more details have emerged so far. No additional information has been released regarding the policeman's death.
The Egyptian police was not immediately available for comment. However, they have previously stressed that they do not use live ammunition on protesters.
Protests and explosions
Large-scale protests continued throughout Egypt on Thursday, with marches in Cairo, Giza and protesters shouting "We Demand Retribution". The day also saw the formation of a new left-wing opposition group called the People’s Resistance Movement, which claimed to represent the ideals of the 25 January Revolution and said to would carry out acts of "resistance," although it was not immediately clear what these acts were.
Police fired tear gas during clashes with pro-Morsi demonstrators in three neighbourhoods in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and in the town of Kerdasa, southwest of Cairo.
Similar trouble was reported in north Cairo and in the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya.
At least 12 people were injured, security officials said. However, this number is believed to have swelled since the original statement. More than 60 Muslim Brotherhood members in seven Egyptian provinces were also arrested on Thursday for allegedly committing "acts of rioting and violence," a security source said.
Various small explosions were also reported across the country. A car was blown up in Helwan, an industrial city just outside Cairo, state-owned Al-Ahram reported.
Privately owned Al-Watan also reported that a homemade bomb was defused inside a train in the southern governorate of Luxor.
Small devices were also found in Ramadan City, 20 kilometres northeast of Cairo Airport, and on Faisal Street, in central Cairo which has been known to host large pro-Brotherhood protests.
Human Rights Watch, in a controversial report released on Tuesday, called the Rabaa massacre one of the largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history.
The New York-based watchdog concluded that in Rabaa al-Adawiya alone at least 817 people were killed, and called for top officials to be investigated for likely "crimes against humanity". Further clashes and deaths were also reported throughout Egypt on 14 August, 2013 making the day the bloodiest since the 2011 overthrow of former strongman Hosni Mubarak.
According to the Egyptian Health Ministry, 638 people were killed on 14 August, of which 595 were civilians and 43 police officers, with at least 3,994 injured. The Muslim Brotherhood puts the figure much higher.