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Egyptian troops open fire on Morsi protesters

July 5, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Troops have opened fire on supporters of former President Mohammed Morsi who were marching on the Republican Guard facility. Several people were wounded, and at least one person was killed.

Medical officials say at least 12 people have been killed in clashes between supporters and opponents of the ousted president in the Mediterranean coastal city of Alexandria, bringing nationwide toll to 30.

Emergency services official Amr Salama says the 12 died when hundreds of Islamists descended on a rally by opponents of ousted President Mohammed Morsi in the city, opening fire with guns.

Muslim Brotherhood supporters have been calling for protests after Morsi was ousted earlier this week. Hundreds of Morsi supporters peacefully marched on the Guard building where Morsi was staying at the time of his ouster, as tanks kept watch on the streets.

The crowd approached a barbed wire barrier where troops were standing guard. According to an Associated Press photographer, a supporter hung a sign of Morsi on the barrier, and troops tore it down. When a second sign was hung, soldiers opened fire on the crowd, the photographer said.

Protesters pelted the line of troops with stones, and the soldiers responded with volleys of tear gas. Then clashes eased as mid-afternoon prayers got under way.

This comes as the Obama administration pushes for a transparent political process in Egypt.

A new interim president, Adly Mansour, has been sworn in a day after the military removed Egypt's first democratically elected president from office. On Friday, Mansour dissolved the Islamist-dominated upper house of parliament, according to state TV. The report says Mansour issued the order dissolving the Shura Council in a constitutional declaration.

The Shura Council is normally a largely powerless body that does not legislate. But under Morsi's presidency, it took up lawmaking powers because the lower house had been dissolved previously by court order. The council was overwhelmingly dominated by Morsi's allies.

According to military decree, Mansour will serve as Egypt's interim leader until a new president is elected. A date for that vote has yet to be set. But Mansour has the authority to declare new laws during the transition.

The White House is being careful not to use the word "coup" to describe the change in leadership in Egypt. U.S. law would require the administration to suspend aid to Egypt under that scenario. Egypt gets about $1.5 billion a year from the U.S.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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