Egypt: More than 50 killed as Muslim Brotherhood protest on October war anniversary

Pro-military commemorations go on regardless, as General Sissi tells the people his army is 'like the pyramids' and cannot be broken

Cairo

At least 51 people were killed when supporters of toppled President Mohamed Morsi used the revered anniversary of Egypt’s last war with Israel to stage one of their biggest protests since the state-led summer crackdowns against the country’s Islamists.

Tens of thousands of protesters marched through central Cairo to demand the reinstatement of Mr Morsi, triggering clashes with both the police and rival demonstrators who turned out to celebrate the military.

It was the bloodiest day of conflict in Egypt since the violent dispersal of two sit-in pro-Morsi protest camps on 14 August, and showed that despite a crackdown from harsh prison sentences to outright massacres against its supporters, the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies remain a force.

The Health Ministry confirmed the death toll of more than 50 across the country, with at least 40 of those dying in Cairo, as well as more than 240 injured. Police chiefs said 423 supporters of the ousted president had been arrested.

While the military is now firmly re-established as the pre-eminent source of power in the country –and there are calls for its leader General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to run in presidential elections next year – the largely Islamist political forces which remain opposed to the current political transition can still command a sizeable following.

“There are 13 million people who voted for Mohamed Morsi and these people need to be represented,” said Sherif Taher, a senior member of the liberal Al Wafd Party. “This country will never find peace unless they are represented.”

Even as fighting continued in the streets, the military went ahead with its plans for lavish celebrations on the national holiday marking the 40th anniversary of the start of the 1973 Yom Kippur War (often called the October War in Egypt) with Israel.

By attempting to rally on such a sensitive day, the pro-Morsi forces were playing with fire, and officials only moved to stoke up tensions. The interim President Adly Mansour’s media adviser said that anybody protesting would be doing the work of “foreign agents.”

General Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi and interim President Adly Mansour General Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi and interim President Adly Mansour

Yesterday morning Egyptians woke to the sound of fighter jets roaring over the capital in a show of power, and in the evening a concert was played out live on state TV from a stadium in Cairo where pop stars sang pro-military anthems.

Sissi attended the show, joined by other senior armed forces personnel and Mr Mansour attended the show.

“There are those who think the military can be broken,” el-Sissi said in an address at the concert.

“You see the Pyramids? The military is like the Pyramids, because the Egyptian people are on its side.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable