2 Muslim Brotherhood members killed as unrest sweeps Egypt

Story highlights

  • Egyptian authorities said Muslim Brotherhood members tried to torch highway checkpoint
  • Two Brotherhood members were killed in the gunfight
  • Supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsy protested in several cities
  • Police said they confiscated weapons in Damietta

Unrest and dissension rolled across Egypt on Friday as authorities killed two Muslim Brotherhood members during a gunfight and clashed with protesters in several cities.

Egyptian security forces killed the Muslim Brotherhood members during a gunfight in the Nile Delta, north of Cairo, the state news agency MENA reported Friday.

Several men attempted to torch a traffic checkpoint and opened fire on police guarding a highway connecting the cities of Tanta and Al-Mahalla Al-Kubra in the northern governorate of Gharbiya, MENA said. One assailant was arrested, but the others escaped, the report said.

Egyptian police dispersed protests organized by supporters of former President Mohamed Morsy in various cities, arresting a number of protesters.

In Fayoum, police fired tear gas to disperse a demonstration. Police officials said they arrested five protesters, including a student, and confiscated a weapon. Seven people were injured.

Police dispersed protests in Damietta, arresting four people. Police said they confiscated knives and images of "the four-fingered sign" from protesters, a reference to the image of a yellow hand used by many Morsy supporters.

Muslim Brotherhood supporters clashed with opponents in Damietta, according to reports. A number of shop windows and one car were slightly damaged in the clashes.

    Several pro-Brotherhood demonstrators were arrested during protests in the northern port city of Alexandria, security officials said.

    The group said in a statement on Facebook that one protester was killed in Alexandria. However, the city's security chief, Nasser El-Abd, has not confirmed the allegation.

    Security forces fired tear gas at dozens of pro-Morsy protesters gathering in the northeastern Cairo district of Nasr City and in Giza's Haram district.

    In Ain Shams in eastern Cairo, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported clashes on Friday afternoon between about 300 Morsy supporters and riot police.

    Protesters denounced the presidential candidacy of former military chief Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, chanting against the police and the army. The former field marshal, whose popularity has skyrocketed since he led Morsy's ouster, is expected to win the May presidential election.

    Egyptian authorities have officially designated the Brotherhood a terrorist organization, accusing it of links to Islamist militants. The group denies any links to violence and insists that its means of protest are all peaceful.

    Attacks targeting police and the army have spiked since the military ousted Morsy last summer amid massive nationwide protests against his rule. An ongoing crackdown on his Islamist supporters has left hundreds killed and thousands behind bars.

    The government says that nearly 500, mostly police officers and troops, have since been killed in shootings, bombings and suicide attacks.