Four people, including an Egyptian woman journalist, were killed in Cairo Friday as police clashed with Islamists protesting against ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s presidency bid, a security official told AFP.
The violence erupted in a deeply polarized Egypt as supporters of deposed president Mohammed Morsi took to the streets of Cairo, Alexandria and other cities to vent their anger at Sisi who was instrumental in ousting the Islamist Morsi nine months ago.
Mayada Ashraf, who worked for the privately owned Al-Dustour newspaper, was shot in the head while covering clashes in the northern neighborhood of Ein Shams, the official told AFP, adding that three more people were killed in the same violence and 10 wounded.
Four people were also wounded in clashes in the northern province of Damietta.
In Cairo’s eastern neighborhood of Madinat Nasr, students from Al-Azhar Islamic university hurled Molotov cocktails and stones at riot police who fired tear gas to disperse them, security officials said.
Clashes also erupted between Morsi supporters and his opponents in the northern Cairo districts of Ein Shams and Matareya, the officials told AFP.
Ten Morsi supporters were arrested in clashes with security forces in Damietta province, and 28 were arrested in the southern Minya province for carrying leaflets hostile to the military and the police, they added.
On Wednesday, after months of speculation, Sisi resigned as Defense Minster and announced his plan to run for president, saying it would be the last time he wears his military uniform. “I give up the uniform to defend the nation,” he declared.
In his speech, he reminded Egyptians of the security and economic challenges facing them, noting that he cannot “perform miracles” and calling on Egyptians to work hard to improve their country.
He also said Egypt was threatened by terrorists and he would work to make a country “free of fear.”
The Brotherhood voiced its opposition to Sisi’s bid for the presidency, saying he was not a suitable candidate.
“He led a coup to become president. He is a man who has killed daily since the coup,” the Brotherhood’s political bureau member Ibrahim Munir said.
Supporters of the widely popular presidential hopeful, who toppled Morsi after massive street protests against his turbulent one-year rule, also demonstrated on Friday to celebrate his candidacy, reported AFP.
Carrying Egyptian flags and portraits of Sisi, dozens marched in Alexandria and scores gathered in Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square, symbol of the 2011 uprising that toppled veteran president Hosni Mubarak.