Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

More bloody clashes in Egypt

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CAIRO -- Egypt plunged further into civil conflict Friday after anti-government demonstrations led by the Muslim Brotherhood erupted in violence involving security forces, protesters and armed civilians on both sides of the political divide.

Foreign Affairs confirms a Canadian resident has died in the strife in Egypt. A spokeswoman would only say the person was a permanent Canadian resident married to a Canadian citizen. She says consular services are being made available to the family.

The Globe and Mail identified the man as 26-year-old Amr Kassem, who lived in Toronto with his wife and child.

The Globe is reporting he joined a large rally in Alexandria on Friday that was protesting the crackdown by security forces against anti-government demonstrators.

The newspaper quoted his wife Asmaa Hussein as saying Kassem was shot in the back of his head.

There have been more than 700 people killed in Egypt this week as Muslim Brotherhood-led protesters have taken to the streets to denounce the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.

Armoured vehicles sped through the streets of Cairo on Friday, civilians carrying pistols and machetes set up checkpoints and smoke billowed through the sky as what was billed by the Brotherhood as a Day of Rage turned into a frightening glimpse of what might lie ahead for the deeply polarized country.

The Muslim Brotherhood claimed 213 people were killed on a day that brought the violence to the heart of the capital and drew in for the first time government-approved Popular Committees, whose members set up checkpoints carrying sticks, machetes and, in some instances, guns.

The government declined to issue casualty figures.

The number of dead appeared to be lower than the more than 600 people killed in Egypt on Wednesday.

But the Brotherhood put the toll at more than 100 in central Cairo alone, after security forces used live ammunition to suppress demonstrators who had gathered at Ramses Square in what the group called "glorious heroic scenes."

Violence was also reported in several other cities across Egypt, including Ismailiya, where a video posted on YouTube showed troops opening fire on an unarmed demonstrator who stood in front of a tank.

The Brotherhood called for protests to continue for a week longer, to show opposition to last month's coup and this week's brutal crackdown on civilian protest camps that ignited the latest wave of violence. But the government, appointed by the military after the coup, showed no sign of wavering.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the cabinet declared "the Egyptian armed forces, the police and the great people of Egypt are standing as one hand, in the face of the brutal terrorist plot by the Muslim Brotherhood on Egypt."

-- from the wire services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 17, 2013 A24

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