The Muslim Brotherhood announced on Thursday that it would stay in the streets to protest yesterday’s forcible dispersal of two pro-Morsi sit-ins, which escalated into nationwide chaos that claimed at least 525 lives, according to the Health Ministry.
The Brotherhood issued a statement announcing two mass funeral marches in Cairo after Asr prayer that would leave from Al-Iman Mosque in Nasr City and Al-Rayan Mosque in Maadi, in protest against Wednesday’s deaths.
As of early Thursday afternoon, the Health Ministry said at least 525 were killed and 3,717 injured in Wednesday`s violence. The Brotherhood, however, claims over 2,000 lives have been lost. Most casualties were the result of live ammunition or pellet shots.
On Thursday morning families of the victims gathered at Al-Imam Mosque to identify the bodies of the dead, which had been transferred there after security forces allegedly attacked the field hospital set up at Rabea al-Adaweya Mosque. Inside the mosque, dozens of dead bodies wrapped in bloodied white sheets and patterned bed covers lay on the ground as weeping relatives or friends lift the covers to try to identify the victims.
To keep the bodies cool in the summer heat, fans were directed at the corpses, and mourners fanned the bodies with pieces of cardboard.
One woman sat next to a corpse and patted it, crying, as another woman whimpered: “It is to God that we return.”
“Come back Mohamed! I beg your pardon, come back!” sobbed another woman as she walked past the bodies.
Outside the mosque, a medic was hanging several sheets bearing the names of at least 245 people whose bodies were inside the mosque. Ahmed Kamal, a doctor, said that until now, he was not able to obtain a death certificate for his nephew Khaled Ashraf, who was killed in the attack at Rabea yesterday, indicating that his death was due to gunshot to the head.
“Police said yesterday that they did not fire a single shot. Then did these dead people kill themselves?” he asked.
Following Wednesday’s dispersal of the sit-ins, protesters continued to march nationwide and started new sit-ins in Mohandiseen and Maadi.
But Mostafa al-Khatib, a member of the sit-ins’ media committee, told Mada Masr that the protesters decided last night to leave the sit-in that they had started in Mostafa Mahmoud Square in Mohandiseen due to fears of attacks.
Extensive street action is expected to take place on Friday as the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups protest the violent dispersal of the sit-ins.
[This article originally appeared on Mada Masr.]