Just the beginning of an Islamist terror campaign.
(AFP, Cairo) — Residents of Cairo’s Manial neighborhood were recovering Saturday from a bloody night of clashes with armed supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood who killed at least seven people and left dozens injured, they told AFP.
The violence erupted when residents tried to stop hundreds of Islamists passing through Manial to reach protests being staged in the iconic Tahrir Square against toppled president Mohammed Mursi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood.
“The Brotherhood attacked the area with all kinds of weapons,” said resident Mohammed Yehya, who lost three of his friends in the mayhem.
Inhabitants of the Nile island of Manial reported seeing dozens of bearded Islamists armed with machineguns, machetes and sticks on Friday night before the deadly clashes broke out.
Snipers were spotted on rooftops, and medics told AFP they treated some residents of the normally quiet middle-class neighborhood for bullet wounds with a downward trajectory.
Buildings were pockmarked with bullet holes. Rocks carpeted the floor and charred tyres showed the ferocity of the violence.
The clashes in Manial and other parts of the country came two days after the army toppled Mursi, underlining the determination of his Muslim Brotherhood to disrupt the military’s plan for a political transition until new elections.
Residents say the attack began just minutes after the Brotherhood’s supreme guide, Mohammed Badie, gave a fiery speech to Mursi supporters camped out in Cairo’s Nasr City, which was broadcast live on television.
“The attack came minutes after Badie’s speech. They treated us like infidels. They were chanting ‘Allahu akbar’ (God is greatest) as they were shooting us,” said Ahmed Fattouh.