At least six protesters are reported to have been killed in clashes with Egyptian police near the Giza pyramids in Cairo this morning following Eid-ul-Fitr prayers, according to the state-run news agency, MENA.
In a bloody start to the country’s first day of Eid celebrations following the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan, over 500 Muslim Brotherhood supporters are said to have begun a demonstration after worshippers had finished their prayers.
Gunfire and violence allegedly erupted when the authorities intervened to arrest 15 armed Brotherhood members, MENA said.
Twenty more Brotherhood members are said to have been arrested in the Egyptian city of Alexandria.
Despite there recently being a heavy crackdown on the Brotherhood – which authorities have banned since 2013 and denounced as a ‘terrorist organisation’ – this incident is seen to be the deadliest the capital has seen in months. The Brotherhood, however, has always maintained that it is committed to peaceful activism.
A health ministry official confirmed the deaths, MENA reports, as tweets from within the country, and abroad, followed:
Correct me if I'm wrong, I think today's 6 deaths is the highest number of protesters killed since January #Egypt; Claire Read (@clear_red) July 17, 2015
Egypt Interior Ministry says 16 arrested in clashes in Cairo today #eid; Claire Read (@clear_red) July 17, 2015
Six dead in Cairo clashes between pro-Morsi protesters and police, says health ministry. The clashes limited to one or two neighbourhoods.; Samer Al-Atrush (@SameralAtrush) July 17, 2015
Egypt's security forces wish you a happy eid. https://t.co/TxRqpe7eVW; Dalia Ezzat (@DaliaEzzat_) July 17, 2015
Happy Eid in Egypt. Sisi's gift: 5 people shot dead for protesting after Eid prayers. pic.twitter.com/TvMMHE5HJz; Bondok (@mamzbondok) July 17, 2015