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Egypt Protests: Mohamed Morsi Supporters 'Shot Dead' By Army

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EGYPT CLASHES
Three Morsi protesters have been shot dead | Getty

At least 30 people have been killed in Egypt as supporters of the country's ousted president Mohammed Morsi demonstrated on the streets of Cairo and other cities on Friday, according to reports. Dozens more are believed injured.

A Health Ministry official told Associated Press that four people were killed near the Republican Guard building in Cairo, another was killed in clashes that began in the evening when Islamists attacked Morsi opponents near Tahrir Square and four more died in the northern Sinai city of el-Arish. A 10th was killed in the southern city of Assiut.

Earlier on Friday, journalists on the ground reported that security forces had opened fire on supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood as crowds surrounded the officers' club of the Presidential Guard, where Morsi is believed to be hiding out.

The army has denied causing any deaths, telling Reuters that soldiers were using only blank rounds and teargas and fired after Morsi supporters ignored orders not to approach the compound.

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Supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi rush to help a wounded man

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Egypt's army is "preventively" holding ousted president Mohamed Morsi after his deposing by an army decree.

Morsi was the first democratically elected President of Egypt. Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of his inauguration but many were disillusioned with his rule, accusing him of failing to tackle security and economic problems.

Previously fragmented liberal and secular groups united under the banner of a grassroots movement called Tamarod (Rebellion) and Morsi was ousted on Wednesday.

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Egyptian supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood shout religious and political slogans during a protest near Cairo University

Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad al-Haddad said the new movement was refusing to co-operate with the new leadership and demanded the immediate release of the leaders who have been detained.

The Islamist party had called a "Friday of rage" against the protesters, accusing the army of a coup.

Later in the day, tens of thousands protesters gathered near a Cairo mosque where they were addressed by Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie in spite of reports on Thursday which said he had been arrested.

Badie, who often referred to Morsi as the president, promised his supporters that they would "complete the revolution" and would stay out on the streets until he was brought back to power.

"To the great Egyptian army, I say 'Allahu Akbar' (God is great) ... I say ... we will sacrifice," he shouted as a military helicopter hovered low overhead, Reuters reported.

There have been reports of clashes in other parts of Egypt as well, inlcuding Qina where troops troops fired on pro-Morsi activists who were trying to enter a security building. There was also trouble reported in Alexandria and Ismailiya.

Meanwhile BBC journalist Jeremy Bowen was hit in the head with birdshot as thousands of protesters surged into the streets after Friday prayers. He tweeted the following picture.

The reporter was shown having his head bandaged in a photograph posted on Twitter but he later reassured followers that he was not seriously injured.

In a message on the site, the veteran reporter said: "Thanks for the messages. I've been hit by a couple of shotgun pellets. Am fine and heading out."

Bowen later admitted: "Could have been a lot worse."

The decision to remove Egypt's first democratically-elected President has alarmed the West.

Foreign Secretary William Hague warned it could become a precedent and called for a swift return to democracy.

Hague said he had spoken to Egypt's foreign minister who had assured him that there would be early elections to choose a new president.

"It is the problem with a military intervention, of course, that it is a precedent for the future. If this can happen to one elected president, it can happen to another," he said.

"That's why it is so important to entrench democratic institutions and for political leaders - for all their sakes and the sake of their country - to work on this together to find the compromises they haven't been able to make in Egypt over the last year."

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