CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian teenager was killed in clashes between supporters of the ousted Islamist president and security forces Friday, a security official said, raising to two the total number of deaths during two days of violent protests on the anniversary of Mohammad Morsi’s ouster.
The street clashes culminated a week of violence including several small bombings in the capital of Cairo and other cities, although Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and its loyalists failed to draw massive crowds onto the streets after a crackdown against Islamists that has left hundreds dead and at least 22,000 jailed, including most of the group’s senior leaders.
Police closed off Tahrir Square, which has served as the epicenter of protests since a mass uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, and other plazas for several hours on Friday to prevent massive gatherings. But still dozens of pro-Morsi demonstrators gathered in Cairo and other cities.
The 15-year-old boy was killed by birdshot pellets during a demonstration in Cairo’s Zeitoun district, the security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to release the information. It was not immediately clear whether the boy was a protester or a passer-by.
Another protester was seriously wounded by live ammunition during a march elsewhere in the capital, the official said. A health ministry official, Mohammed Sultan, said 12 people also were injured.
In one demonstration in Cairo’s twin city of Giza, unrest started after a funeral service held in a mosque for a demonstrator who was killed in clashes on Thursday, witnesses said. Mourners began chanting as they filed out of the mosque to march in protest in the Haram district of Cairo’s twin city of Giza, but they were dispersed by police firing tear gas.
The protesters than tried to regroup elsewhere and blocked a road, before security forces again moved against them.
Egyptian security officials also said they had foiled several bombing attempts in recent days.
A bomb accidentally exploded on a farm southwest of the Egyptian capital, causing the building to collapse and killing four suspected militants who were handling it, including a wanted member of the Muslim Brotherhood, security and health officials said.
Health ministry official in Fayoum, Medhat Shoukry, said three people were instantly killed while the fourth died in hospital.
Interior Ministry spokesman, Hani Abdel-Latif, confirmed the deaths and said the farm in the oasis town of Fayoum belonged to Ahmed Arafa, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood who is wanted for violent events that followed Morsi’s ouster.
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which wielded great influence under Morsi’s yearlong rule after years in opposition during the Mubarak era, have faced allegations of fomenting violence and been banned and declared a terrorist organization.
The Interior Ministry spokesman also said police had confiscated 39 other explosive devices ready to use and other bomb-making equipment.
The government has blamed Morsi’s group and its Islamist allies for the string of attacks that hit the country after his ouster, but it has offered sparse evidence other than confessions to support the claim.
Islamic militants have claimed responsibility for some attacks, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula. But the Brotherhood has consistently denied involvement in violence, saying it sticks to peaceful protests.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.