Security forces clear mosque of pro-Morsi supporters

Rick Moran
Following the "Day of Rage" protests on Friday that killed at least 173, authorities quashed demonstrations all of the country today, firing into a mosque in Cairo where pro-Morsi supporters had barricaded themselves.

BBC:

Egypt's security forces have cleared a Cairo mosque after a long stand-off with Muslim Brotherhood supporters barricaded inside, state media says.

All the protesters have now been taken out of the mosque, and many have been arrested, security forces say.

The confrontation at the al-Fath mosque continued for most of the day - with exchanges of gunfire between security forces and protesters.

Meanwhile the interim PM has proposed legally dissolving the Brotherhood.

The group supports the ousted President Mohammed Morsi, and wants him to be reinstated.

The Brotherhood is technically a banned organisation anyway - it was officially dissolved by Egypt's military rulers in 1954 - but it recently registered itself as a non-governmental organisation.

If it was legally dissolved, its property and assets could be seized.

It has called for daily demonstrations since a crackdown on its protest camps in Cairo on Wednesday left hundreds of people dead.

On Friday, hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters gathered in Ramses Square for a "march of anger" about the bloodshed earlier in the week.

At least 173 people died across the country on Friday in clashes between the Brotherhood and the security forces.

The stand-off began overnight, when the al-Fath mosque - which was being used as a makeshift clinic for the injured and morgue for the dead from clashes on Friday - turned instead into what correspondents describe as a fortress.

Brotherhood members barricading themselves inside, using anything at their disposal.

It turned into a scene of chaos. Tear gas was fired into the building, and witnesses saw live ammunition fired by both sides.

Al-Jazeera television called one woman inside the mosque on her mobile phone as the shooting began.

"Nobody here is safe, they are shooting inside the mosque," she said, with loud firing heard in the background.

Egyptian police have been bringing some Morsi supporters out of the building - leading some, dragging others - but are then having to protect them from angry mobs armed with bats and pieces of wood who are trying to attack them, correspondents say.

Lest anyone think that the military is losing support, most of the population stands with them, understanding that the unrest is leading to an economic meltdown as well as civil war.

There has been a speculation that the government will once again ban the Muslim Brotherhood. It appears they have little choice but to do so. Filling the jails with brotherhood leaders and supporters could be the only way for authorities to reclaim control of the streets and get the country back to some kind of normalcy.

Following the "Day of Rage" protests on Friday that killed at least 173, authorities quashed demonstrations all of the country today, firing into a mosque in Cairo where pro-Morsi supporters had barricaded themselves.

BBC:

Egypt's security forces have cleared a Cairo mosque after a long stand-off with Muslim Brotherhood supporters barricaded inside, state media says.

All the protesters have now been taken out of the mosque, and many have been arrested, security forces say.

The confrontation at the al-Fath mosque continued for most of the day - with exchanges of gunfire between security forces and protesters.

Meanwhile the interim PM has proposed legally dissolving the Brotherhood.

The group supports the ousted President Mohammed Morsi, and wants him to be reinstated.

The Brotherhood is technically a banned organisation anyway - it was officially dissolved by Egypt's military rulers in 1954 - but it recently registered itself as a non-governmental organisation.

If it was legally dissolved, its property and assets could be seized.

It has called for daily demonstrations since a crackdown on its protest camps in Cairo on Wednesday left hundreds of people dead.

On Friday, hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters gathered in Ramses Square for a "march of anger" about the bloodshed earlier in the week.

At least 173 people died across the country on Friday in clashes between the Brotherhood and the security forces.

The stand-off began overnight, when the al-Fath mosque - which was being used as a makeshift clinic for the injured and morgue for the dead from clashes on Friday - turned instead into what correspondents describe as a fortress.

Brotherhood members barricading themselves inside, using anything at their disposal.

It turned into a scene of chaos. Tear gas was fired into the building, and witnesses saw live ammunition fired by both sides.

Al-Jazeera television called one woman inside the mosque on her mobile phone as the shooting began.

"Nobody here is safe, they are shooting inside the mosque," she said, with loud firing heard in the background.

Egyptian police have been bringing some Morsi supporters out of the building - leading some, dragging others - but are then having to protect them from angry mobs armed with bats and pieces of wood who are trying to attack them, correspondents say.

Lest anyone think that the military is losing support, most of the population stands with them, understanding that the unrest is leading to an economic meltdown as well as civil war.

There has been a speculation that the government will once again ban the Muslim Brotherhood. It appears they have little choice but to do so. Filling the jails with brotherhood leaders and supporters could be the only way for authorities to reclaim control of the streets and get the country back to some kind of normalcy.