Mursi supporters exchange fire with security forces in mosque

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 17, 2013 9:19 AM
Mursi supporters exchange fire with security forces in mosque

CAIRO (Reuters) - Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi exchanged gunfire with security forces inside a Cairo mosque on Saturday, three Reuters witnesses said.

The gunmen opened fire on security forces from a second floor window in the Fath mosque, where hundreds of Mursi supporters have been taking refuge since protests turned violent on Friday.

Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood has said it is committed to peaceful resistance to the army-backed government which toppled him. But a Brotherhood spokesman said this week that anger was out of control because of a bloody security crackdown.

Tensions started to run high when a woman wearing a niqab - the full head to toe black veil - tried to walk out of the mosque, said a Reuters witness.

A group of about 10 soldiers had been telling people to leave the mosque and that they would be in no danger.

When the woman approached them, people in the mosque could be overheard saying she was the wife of a Brotherhood leader and was in danger of being arrested. She walked back into the mosque, looked up and said something to a group of pro-Mursi gunmen armed with AK-47 assault rifles.

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That is when the shooting started.

(Writing by Michael Georgy; editing by Andrew Roche)