CAIRO: At least five people were killed in sporadic violence in Egypt yesterday after Islamists called protests to mark the first anniversary of a police crackdown that cost the lives of hundreds of demonstrators.
On August 14, 2013, after then army chief and now President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi had removed Egypt’s first freely elected president, the security forces set upon thousands of Mursi supporters at protest camps in Rabaa
Al Adawiya and Nahda squares, leaving hundreds of people dead.
The assault was “one of the largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history”, the New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a report released ahead of yesterday’s anniversary.
In Rabaa Al Adawiya alone at least 817 people were killed, HRW said, calling for investigations into likely “crimes against humanity”.
Official estimates say more than 700 people were killed at the two squares on that day.
Yesterday, attempts by Mursi supporters to demonstrate were swiftly suppressed, reflecting their dwindling ability to stage protests amid violent repression that has left more than 1,400 people dead since Mursi’s overthrow in July 2013. The pro-Mursi Anti-Coup Alliance had called for nationwide rallies yesterday under the slogan “We Demand Retribution”.
Four people were killed by gunshots across Cairo when Mursi supporters clashed with riot police and civilian opponents, a security official said.
Earlier, a policeman was gunned down in a southern Cairo suburb by unknown assailants.
Police fired tear gas during clashes with pro-Mursi demonstrators in three neighbourhoods of the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and in the town of Kerdasa, southwest of Cairo.