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Clashes Between Morsi Opponents, Supporters Kill 11 In Cairo

Tuesday was another bloody day in Cairo: Clashes between the supporters and opponents of ousted President Mohammed Morsi left 11 dead, according to the country's Health Ministry, and a blast at a security building northeast of Cairo wounded at least 12 policemen.

From Cairo, NPR's Leila Fadel filed this report for our Newscast Unit:

"The Ministry of Interior said in a statement that the explosion ripped through the first floor of the provincial security headquarters in the city of Mansoura, northeast of Cairo. The attack came just after midnight.

"Egypt's security forces have come under near daily attack in the largely lawless Sinai Peninsula, since the overthrow of president Mohammed Morsi on July 3rd. A policeman was killed in northern Sinai earlier today.

"But the bombing is the first major attack on police outside of that restive area. And it heightens fears that the deep divisions over the ouster of the Islamist president could plunge Egypt into a spiral of violence."

As for the clashes, the worst fighting happened near Cairo University, where the Morsi supporters have set up shop. The Los Angeles Times reports the violence between the two sides has intensified recently.

The Times adds:

"Most of the anti-Morsi contingent has been bunkered in Tahrir Square. The factions have been edging closer to one another. A march on the U.S. Embassy by pro-Morsi demonstrators Monday sparked a confrontation with protesters in nearby Tahrir Square.

"Supplies of smuggled weapons have increased the bloodshed. Both sides say they have been targeted by snipers. Pistols, including some homemade models, are common and many men stand on the frontlines like urban warriors, wearing construction helmets and carrying shields of corrugated tin.

"Interim President Adly Mahmoud Mansour has called for reconciliation that will turn the country to 'a new page in the nation's book. No contempt, no hatred, no divisions and no collisions.'"

The clashes that started with the July 3 coup have killed more than 90 people.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.