Gunfire as Egypt security forces ‘surround protesters in mosque’

CAIRO, Qahirah, Aug 16, 2013 (AFP)

Egypt security forces on Friday surrounded a Cairo mosque where Islamist supporters were holed up, with each side accusing the other of opening fire, officials and Islamists said.

The siege of the Al-Fath mosque in the Ramsis area comes at the end of a day of clashes between security forces and supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi that left over 80 people dead.

Security officials quoted by the official MENA news agency said “armed elements are shooting security forces and police from inside the mosque.”

But Morsi’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) appealed for the prevention of another “massacre” after 578 people were killed nationwide on Wednesday when police cleared protest camps set up by Morsi loyalists.

The FJP said in a statement there were “thousands of people trapped in Fath mosque” and that shooting had been ongoing for “more than an hour without interruption.”

It urged “anyone to do anything to make (the security forces) go back… It is clear that there is an intention to repeat the Rabaa massacre,” the group said in reference to the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque — the Morsi loyalists’ main protest camp where more than 200 people were killed on Wednesday.

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