Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha
Cairo: Breaking a month and half of lull, violence and bloodshed returned to haunt Egypt where fierce clashes broke out between the supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi and police, killing at least 50 as the military-backed government sought to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Arab-Israeli war.
The police used tear gas and fired birdshots and live rounds at Morsi supporters, who pelted stones at the cops in return.
Over 400 protesters were arrested on the charges of vandalism and firing live rounds and birdhots, said a statement by the Interior Ministry.
Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members were also arrested.
The clashes returned to Egypt in wake of the 40th anniversary of 1973 Arab-Israeli war as the military supporters gathered in Cairo`s Tahrir Square hailing defence chief Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.whereas Morsi supporters thronged the streets shouting slogans against the defence chief.
Morsi supporters say that the former President was ousted in a military coup in July and hence condemn al-Sisi for that.
The clashes raged on for hours with gunshots reverberating Cairo and small fires and black smoke rising across the capital.
October 6 festivities to honour the Egypt Armed Forces, which in 1940 crossed the Suez Canal at the start of the nation`s last war with Israel, were marred by the clashed that came after several weeks of calm since August when over 1000 people were killed.
In a televised address, Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi described it as a "critical time" for the country and urged Egyptians to "stand together, be optimistic about the future".