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article imageEgypt tense as standoff ensues at Cairo's al-Fath Mosque

By Abdul Kuddus     Aug 17, 2013 in World
Cairo - The al-Fath mosque in central Cairo has turned into the latest epicentre of conflict in Egypt’s turbulent political landscape signifying chaos, bloodshed and an impending civil war.
The besieged al-Fath mosque is the site of a tense standoff between Egyptian security forces surrounding it and hundreds of pro-Morsi supporters trapped inside. Reportedly, they stacked furniture against the doors to prevent police from breaking their way in.
The stand-off at the mosque comes after a day of bloody clashes that claimed least 173 lives and more than 1,000 Muslim Brotherhood supporters arrested.
According to the BBC, an estimated 1,000 people are trapped in the mosque after violence in Ramses Square on Friday. The security forces had entered the building to persuade the protesters to leave the mosque.
Following the violent clashes in Ramses Square between security forces and Muslim Brotherhood and pro-Morsi supporters, the al-Fath mosque premises turned into a morgue and a makeshift hospital with dead and injured— including those fleeing the violence.
While many were escorted out of the mosque, dozens are still trapped inside, refusing to leave fearing threat to their lives from anti-Morsi supporters.
“A cleric Sheik Abdel-Hafiz el-Maslami, told The Associated Press that people are afraid to leave the mosque out of fear of detention or being assaulted by the crowd outside. He said there were armed men inside the mosque at one point but protesters forced them out,” according to the Daily Reporter.
RT news reported:
“Security forces wanted the women and children inside the mosque to leave but wanted to take male protesters into custody for questioning. The protesters refused these conditions and remained inside as of Saturday morning.”
Reportedly negotiations are going on to resolve the stand-off, but there are apprehensions that security forces may eventually storm the building, that may increase the death toll.
Meanwhile the government said on Saturday that at least 173 people have been killed across Egypt in the last 24 hours following renewed clashes between security forces and protesters.
The week long spiralling violence saw more than 700 people killed across the country. The number surpasses the combined death toll from two and a half years of violent protests that has divided Arab’s largest Muslim nation since the ousting of Hosni Mubarak until the toppling of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi on July 3rd.
More about Tense situation at Cairo's AlFath Mosque, Tense standoff at Cairo mosque, death toll in Egypt, Besieged alFath Mosque,, violent clashes
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