The Muslim Brotherhood called for mass protests on Tuesday, a day after at least 51 people were killed when the Egyptian army opened fire on supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi outside the military barracks where he is believed to be held.
News agencies said 435 were wounded in the incident, mostly from rifle rounds and birdshot.
The military said it was protecting the military installation and personnel from an attack by gunmen among the protesters. Morsi’s supporters said the military’s attack on their days-long sit-in was unprovoked.
Citing the military, Egyptian state television reported that the soldiers opened fire in response to a “terrorist” attack on the compound, which has been the target of previous attempts by Muslim Brotherhood supporters to free Morsi.
The Egyptian interim government expressed “deep regret” for those killed in the violence. The administration said in a statement on state TV that a committee was formed to investigate the incidents.
The army released what appears to be video evidence of said attacks.
“The armed forces always deal with issues very wisely, but there is certainly also a limit to patience,” said military spokesman Ahmed Ali during a press conference Monday.
Following the violence, the Salafist al-Nour Party, a key Islamist group, which has supported the army’s “road map” following Morsi’s ouster, said it was cutting off talks with the military on entering the interim government being formed, following the “massacre” earlier in the day, a spokesperson for the group said.
On July 3, the day of Morsi’s ouster, irate supporters took to the streets, calling on the military to reinstate him.
A video posted on MEMRI TV shows Islamist supporters addressing army chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi threatening “martyrdom.”
“Beware, you have created a new Taliban and a new al-Qaeda in Egypt, all these masses will split into suicide squads and will destroy you and Egypt… It is you who has created terrorism… it is you who has started a civil war in Egypt… It is you who signed the death certificates of the National Salvation Front and its members, and the Tamarud rebels, and all those who oppose Morsi,” says one protester.
In the clip, a female demonstrator warns Egypt’s Christian minority, “You are our neighbors; we will set you on fire.”
Egypt has been wracked by mass protests and counterprotests since the week of June 30, when opponents of Morsi took to the streets by the hundreds of thousands and called for his resignation. Following Morsi’s forced resignation, Muslim Brotherhood supporters and secular opponents of the Islamist president have been engaging in bloody clashes throughout Egypt.
Close to 100 have died and over 1,000 have been injured in the week since the latest bout of clashes began.