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Protests turn violent in Egypt, 7 dead and 600 injured

 
 
 
 
 
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Opponents of President Mohammed Morsi have attempted to storm the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo, the organization’s spokesman has said. Seven people have been killed and over 600 injured on Sunday as millions took to the streets.

Violence had been widely anticipated ahead of Sunday’s multi-million-strong countrywide protests against the president on the anniversary of his inauguration, demanding his resignation.

Gehad El-Haddad, the spokesman for the Brotherhood, which nominated Morsi as its candidate ahead of last year’s elections, said several dozen protesters shot at the windows with shotguns, and threw Molotov cocktails and rocks at the building, which had been fortified in recent weeks.

El-Haddad said the attackers were successfully repelled.

All seven dead were shot in Nile Valley towns south of the capital, one in Beni Suef and three in Assiut.

Millions took to the streets on Sunday to demand the resignation of President Mohammed Morsi on the first anniversary of his inauguration. “It is the biggest protest in Egypt’s history,” a military source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Regional offices of the Muslim Brotherhood, and its political affiliate, the Freedom and Justice Party, have come under a barrage of attacks over the past week. At least seven people – including an American bystander – have been killed during the torchings, with an estimated 600 suffering injuries.

Police, who have persistently feuded with Morsi, and have mostly ignored his instructions in recent weeks (news reports showed some police officers joining anti-government demonstrations on Sunday) said they had no intention of safeguarding Brotherhood buildings, due to “a lack of manpower.”

A man has been killed, and two dozen people injured in a scuffle between anti-Morsi and pro-Morsi supporters in the Nile city of Beni Suef, according to security sources.

Earlier on Sunday, anti-Morsi activists ransacked the local Muslim Brotherhood office, and tried to break into a school, claiming the Islamist movement used it to store weapons.

The Health Ministry has said that 228 people were wounded in clashes across the country on Sunday.

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