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Egyptian Security Forces Clear Mosque As Violence Continues In Cairo (PICTURES)

17/08/2013 16:25 BST | Updated 17/08/2013 19:04 BST

Egyptian security forces have reportedly cleared a mosque in Cairo inside which Muslim Brotherhood supporters were barricaded.

According to the BBC, gunshots were heard in the vicinity of the al-Fath mosque, and all of the protesters have been led away, many under arrest.

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Hundreds of people, including four Irish citizens were trapped inside the building, and reporters counted 30 to 40 bodies inside the mosque, which had been at the centre of a stand-off between the security forces and supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

Among those inside the mosque were reported to be the children of Hussein Halawa - the Imam of Ireland's biggest mosque in Dublin. All four are now known to have left the building.

It is understood two of the women, Omaima Malawa, 21, and her sister Fatima, 23, have been detained by the Egyptian authorities who cleared the Al Fateh mosque earlier today.

The whereabouts of their other sister, Somaia, 27, and 17-year-old brother Ibrihim are not known.

cairo mosque siege

A screengrab of footage from inside the mosque shows barricades

The four siblings, who are on holiday in Egypt, sought refuge in the mosque after at least 173 people were killed during violent clashes between supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi and the security forces in Cairo on Friday.

During her time inside the mosque, Omaima Halawa described the scene in Cairo as 'very frightening'.

"We are surrounded in the mosque both inside and outside," she told Irish national broadcaster RTE.

"The security forces broke in and threw tear gas at us."

Ms Halawa, who is a final year student at Blanchardstown Institute of Technology, said the Irish authorities had been in contact.

The situation is further complicated by an angry mob outside the al-Fath mosque waiting to attack those inside, reporters say. The mosque was being used as a morgue for those killed in Friday's disturbances, but later became a focal point for protests by Brotherhood supporters who barricaded themselves inside.

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(GRAPHIC WARNING) Egypt Clash Between Islamist President Mohammed Morsi Supporters And Security Forces

The Muslim Brotherhood has called for a week of daily demonstrations to protest the military crackdown on its activities, which resulted in over 600 deaths when security forces cleared Brotherhood sit-ins in the country's capital on Wednesday.

In response, Egypt's interim PM has proposed that the Muslim Brotherhood be dissolved.

The Brotherhood and its political wing The Freedom and Justice Party are protesting against the 3 July ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, who was deposed and arrested following a series of popular demonstrations in Egypt. His ouster was followed by a series of sit-ins in Cairo, which were broken up by the military on Wednesday.

The UK government has said it is "deeply concerned" about the escalating crisis and "deplores" the latest loss of life.