Video appears to show worsening violence in Egypt ahead of Sunday’s protests

June 28, 2013

It's not clear what will happen in Egypt on Sunday, when activists are planning nationwide demonstrations against President Mohamed Morsi, who will have been in office one year as of that day. As The Washington Post's Abigail Hauslohner wrote from Cairo, many there are convinced it will spiral into violence. She wrote, "All of Egypt seemed to be bracing for horrors that may come as opposition protesters prepare to call for Morsi’s downfall in mass demonstrations Sunday, the one-year anniversary of his taking office."

But, at least in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, things already appear to be getting quite serious. Protesters stormed a Muslim Brotherhood office there and set it on fire, according to the BBC, which also relayed an Egyptian state TV report that a U.S. citizen was killed in the violence. A spokesperson for Egypt's interior ministry told Al Jazeera's Gregg Carlstrom that an American was killed while taking photos but is not believed to have been a journalist. The Washington Post has not confirmed the reports of a U.S. citizen's death; neither has the U.S. State Department.

There were clashes elsewhere in Alexandria, according to the BBC story, including one involving "thousands" of Morsi supporters who had gathered near a mosque.

The video at the top of this page, posted to YouTube by the Egyptian news outlet El Badil and flagged by Cairo-based journalist Evan Hill, purports to show one of Friday's clashes in Alexandria. (The video purportedly shows them firing on pro-Morsi Islamist demonstrators, but I can't confirm that.) While the violence is not as severe as what reportedly occurred elsewhere in the city, the video drives home the tension in Egypt right now. The riot police in this video, and the citizens who are trying to help, all appear very, very tense. There's a lot of shouting and agitation, and trigger fingers look awfully loose.

None of this bodes well for Sunday's demonstrations. And, as Hauslohner noted in her most recent report, clashes have been breaking out elsewhere this week. We'll be following events, so please do check back.

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Max Fisher · June 28, 2013