Cairo Mosque Cleared After Violent Standoff Between Muslim Brotherhood Protesters And Egyptian Security Forces

 @Charressc.harress@ibtimes.com on August 17 2013 12:29 PM
Egypt 15August2013
A soldier stands outside the burnt Rabaa Adawiya mosque, the morning after the clearing of a protest camp around the mosque, in Cairo August 15, 2013. Reuters

Security forces in Egypt have cleared a Cairo mosque after a long standoff with Muslim Brotherhood protesters who were barricaded inside on Saturday, according to state media.

All protesters have been cleared from the Mosque and many have been arrested, security forces said.

The mosque was the scene of intense gunfire over the last day after protesters from the Brotherhood took refuge there from the security forces bulldozing their camps on Wednesday. 

Members and supporters of the Brotherhood, which was recently re-registered as a political organization more than 50 years after the government dissolved it, have been protesting since President Mohammed Morsi was removed from power by the military.

Violent clashes since Wednesday have claimed more than 600 lives and injured thousands more.

The fighting began at the mosque after it was temporarily used as a clinic for the injured and a morgue for those killed after clashes began. Gunfire directed at security forces in the area was reported to have come from within the mosque.

It quickly turned into a scene of chaos, with tear gas fired into the building as security forces removed protesters.

Al-Jazeera TV interviewed a woman barricaded inside the mosque via mobile phone.

"Nobody here is safe, they are shooting inside the mosque," she said, with loud firing heard in the background.

Egyptian police, who were trying to secure all major buildings in the area to prevent more camps from being established, entered the mosque and dragged people out one by one.

Saturday’s violence comes after Brotherhood camps were cleared by security forces on Wednesday, sparking the recent days of violence. 

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