At least five people are dead following the suppression of a number of anti-government protests by Islamists in Egypt on Friday. At least two killed were protesters, while three senior military officials were killed in separate shootings, the Associated Press reported. Dozens were reportedly injured in the demonstrations.
Salafi Front, a conservative Islamist group, backed the protests, calling for a “Muslim youth uprising” on its Facebook page. The protests, which attracted a few hundred, are the first in months following the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi by the Egyptian military last year.
Cairo was reportedly on lockdown during the protests, with security forces authorized to use “lethal force.” The interior ministry says it thwarted 10 bombings and arrested 224 people who were connected to the protests, according to Reuters. Two of the officers killed were shot in Cairo, while another officer was killed in Alexandria.
Though some groups such as Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood supported the protests, others spoke against the demonstrations. “Don't do it.... You can't fix corruption by sabotage, terrorizing safe people, and shedding blood,” an imam said on state television, according to the AP.
Following Morsi’s removal from office last year, the Egyptian government led by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has cracked down on Muslim Brotherhood members, with hundreds sentenced to death in June and thousands more jailed.