Protester dies as troops open fire

Protester dies as troops open fire

Egyptian troops have opened fire on protesters marching in support of ousted president Mohammed Morsi, killing at least one and wounding several more.

The shooting came as tens of thousands of Mr Morsi’s mostly Islamist supporters chanted “down with military rule” in rallies around the country.

The shooting came as hundreds of Morsi supporters marched on the Guard building in Cairo, where Mr Morsi was staying at the time of his removal before being taken into military custody in an unknown location.

The crowd approached a barbed wire barrier where troops were standing guard around the building.

When one supporter hung a pro-Morsi banner on the barrier, the troops tore it down and told the crowd to stay back. A protester hung a second sign and the soldiers opened fire on the crowd, an Associated Press photographer at the scene said. Several protesters were wounded, many with the pockmark wounds typical of birdshot.

At least one had a severe exit wound in the back of his head. Fellow protesters carried the body into a nearby building and covered his head with a blanket, declaring him dead, news footage revealed.

Health ministry official Khaled el-Khatib confirmed that one protester had been killed and an unspecified number were wounded.

Protesters pelted the line of troops with stones, and the soldiers responded with volleys of tear gas, but the clashes appeared for the moment to ease with mid-afternoon prayers.

The shooting risks to escalate Egypt’s confrontation, with supporters of Mr Morsi rejecting the army’s ousting of the country’s first freely elected president on Wednesday night and the installation of a new civilian administration.

The protester casualties are likely to further fuel calls by some in the Islamist movement for violent retaliation.

The first major Islamic militant attack came before dawn today in the Sinai Peninsula, killing at least one soldier.

Masked assailants launched a coordinated attack with rockets, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-aircraft guns on the airport in el-Arish, the provincial capital of northern Sinai, as well as a security forces camp in Rafah on the border with Gaza and five other military and police posts, sparking nearly four hours of clashes.

One of military’s top commanders, General Ahmed Wasfi arrived at el-Arish on Friday to lead operations there as the army declared a “war on terrorism” in Sinai. A crowd of Morsi supporters also tried to storm the governor’s office in the city but were dispersed by security forces.

The Muslim Brotherhood called for Friday’s protests, which took place at several sites around the capital and in other cities. Brotherhood officials underlined strongly to their followers that their rallies should be peaceful.

Later, senior judge Adly Mansour dissolved the country’s interim parliament - the upper house of the legislature, which was overwhelmingly dominated by Islamists and Morsi allies.

The Shura Council, which normally does not legislate, held legislative powers under Morsi’s presidency because the lower house had been dissolved. State TV reported Mr Mansour’s constitutional decree dissolving the body but did not give further details.

Mr Mansour also named the head of General Intelligence, Rafaat Shehata, as his security adviser.

Morsi supporters say the military has wrecked Egypt’s democracy by carrying out a coup against an elected leader. They accuse Hosni Mubarak loyalists and liberal and secular opposition parties of turning to the army for help because they lost at the polls to Islamists.

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