Child killed by gunfire in clashes in Egypt's Suez city

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 22, 2013 11:10 AM

CAIRO (Reuters) - A 10-year-old boy was killed by gunfire on Friday while walking near the site of clashes between supporters and opponents of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in Egypt's northern city of Suez, security and medical sources said.

Mursi's supporters have staged frequent protests in towns and cities across Egypt, many of them after Friday prayers, since the army deposed him on July 3 in response to mass protests against his rule, and arrested most of the top leaders of his Muslim Brotherhood.

On Friday, around 500 supporters of Mursi gathered in the central Awel-el-soor neighborhood of Suez and chanted slogans against the army and police. Clashes broke out with opponents of Mursi and rocks were thrown and shots exchanged, witnesses said.

The child, named Samir El-Gamal, was hit by a bullet in the back of the head, the sources said, while he was walking with his mother near the site of the clashes. His mother was unharmed, but the boy died on the spot, they said.

Members of Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood accused the security forces of using live rounds to disperse their protest, residents of Suez said. Police said the bullets had come from the opponents of the protesters, not from security forces.

The child's family accused the Brotherhood of responsibility for their child's death, the state news agency MENA said.

The interim government installed in July has waged a broad crackdown on the Brotherhood, accusing its leaders of fomenting violence or terrorism, accusations they deny.

The government has promised a return to democratic rule next year, under a new constitution. In the interim, the political turmoil that has gripped Egypt since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in early 2011 continues to undermine both stability and economic growth.

Elsewhere, hundreds of pro-Brotherhood protesters tried to force their way into the embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Cairo and attacked its guards, but police used teargas to disperse them, the state newspaper al-Ahram said.

Since Mursi was deposed, the UAE and other Gulf Arab allies have shown strong support to the interim government, pledging billions of dollars to help shore up Egypt's fragile finances.

(Reporting by Yousri Mohamed; Editing by Kevin Liffey)