The Guardian — Egyptian security forces and armed men in plain clothes killed scores ofÂ Muslim Brotherhood protesters on Saturday as the brutal and organised crackdown on the Islamist party and its supporters appeared to be gathering pace. In what is the worst single mass killing inÂ Egypt since the fall of president Hosni Mubarak two-and-a-half years ago, a Brotherhood spokesman said 66 of the party’s supporters were shot and killed on the fringes of a sit-in at a Cairo mosque demanding the return of former presidentÂ Mohamed Morsi, who was deposed on 3 July, and another 61 were “brain dead” on life-support machines. Government officials claim that the number of dead was 65, a death toll greater than the Republican Guards massacre on 8 July that saw 51 killed.
The deaths came as men in helmets and black police fatigues fired on crowds gathered before dawn on the fringes of a round-the-clock sit-in near a mosque in north-east Cairo, Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement said. “They are not shooting to wound, they are shooting to kill,” said Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el-Haddad. “The bullet wounds are in the head and chest.” The latest violence came amid the continuing sharp polarization within Egyptian society that has made the country increasingly ungovernable. Elsewhere on Friday, eight people were reported killed in clashes in Alexandria.