The turmoil that has convulsed Egypt for weeks deepened as security forces shot dead at least 72 Muslim Brotherhood supporters before pre-dawn prayers near Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawia mosque.
According to a New York Times report:
“The Egyptian authorities unleashed a ferocious attack on Islamist protesters early Saturday, killing at least 72 people in the second mass killing of demonstrators in three weeks and the deadliest attack by the security services since Egypt’s uprising in early 2011.
“The attack provided further evidence that Egypt’s security establishment was reasserting its dominance after President Mohammed Morsi’s ouster three weeks ago, and widening its crackdown on his Islamist allies in the Muslim Brotherhood. The tactics — many were killed with gunshot wounds to the head or the chest — suggested that Egypt’s security services felt no need to show any restraint.
“‘They had orders to shoot to kill,’ said Gehad el-Haddad, a Brotherhood spokesman. The message, he said, was, ‘This is the new regime.'”
Egypt’s Military Implicated in the Massacre
“Morsi supporters and the government offered widely different counts of the dead. The Muslim Brotherhood claimed as many as 200 were dead, while the Ministry of Interior announced implausibly that police never fired a live round at the protesters, despite all evidence to the contrary. Health ministry officials revised the death toll throughout the day, with it hitting 80 by early Sunday. At least 792 people were injured, the ministry said.
“Doctors said the injuries could only have come from professional marksmen. Ebtesan Zain, a gynecologist, said she came to help her fellow doctors only to discover she was not needed – everyone she encountered was dead.
“‘Those injuries had to be done by snipers. It couldn’t be anything else,’ Zain said. ‘They were shooting directly in the head between the eyes and in the chest.'”