Massive violence erupted in the streets of Cairo on Friday as those loyal to ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood clashed with police and military forces.
According to a report in the Huffington Post, at least 50 people are estimated to have died in Friday’s violence. Though Friday is normally a peaceful day for Muslims to attend services, the Muslim Brotherhood has declared it to be a “day of rage” and the reigning military government called for a month-long state of emergency earlier this week.
On Wednesday, ruling military forces took bulldozers to the streets to destroy protest camps. The military also used tear gas and live ammunition, which some estimate have left 600 dead.
Protesters have gathered outside the Al-Fath mosque, which is now burning, and hundreds more are expected to arrive from the outer areas of Cairo.
In front of the mosque, several thousand protesters waved flags and set off fireworks while screaming chants against the police and Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the army chief whose forces had kicked out Morsi last month. When a military helicopter swooped low over the street, the crowd pointed to the sky and screamed in unison, “Get out, get out!”
“We know they’re going to kill us tonight, and all we ask is that you be our witnesses,” said Mustafa Ahmed, a geologist who had come to the mosque out of “anger and sadness” at the previous days’ events. “I’m here to demonstrate against the coup and to express my sorrow at the tragedy of Wednesday.”
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