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Friday, June 28, 2013

Video of Deadly Clashes in Alexandria, Egypt

Video posted online shows violent clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi, as well as the police.

As my colleagues Kareem Fahim and David Kirkpatrick report, violent street battles gripped Egypt on Friday as supporters and opponents of the country’s Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, held competing protests that devolved into fierce clashes in several cities. The violence was particularly fierce in the port city of Alexandria, where three people, including one American citizen, were killed and the local headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Mr. Morsi is a leader, was set ablaze.

There was little confrmed information about the identity of those killed on Friday or of their attackers. Security officials said the American was stabbed to death while taking photographs of clashes near the Brotherhood headquarters in the Sidi Gaber neighborhood. In an update posted to Twitter, the United States Embassy in Cairo, the capital, said it was “seeking to confirm” the identity of the American victim.

As Egyptians took to the streets and protests spread across the country, footage of chaotic scenes flooded social media, including a number of videos that showed parts of the deadly clashes in Alexandria.

A video posted to YouTube and Facebook by AlexTV, a media organization based in Alexandria, showed fighting between rival groups of young men in the Sidi Gaber train station, one of the city’s two main railroad stations and an imp! ortant transportation link between Alexandria and Cairo. (It is in the same neighborhood as the burnt Muslim Brotherhood headquarters, outside of which the American citizen was killed, according to officials.) The video shows young men setting off fireworks, shooting firearms and pelting one another with stones inside the enclosed station, while police in riot gear and armored vehicles appear to watch impassively.

Video posted online claims to show the police firing birdshot at protesters from the Muslim Brotherhood in Alexandria.

El Badil, a left-leaning Egyptian newspaper, posted another video from the Sidi Gaber train station that claimed to show the police firing birdshot at protestes from the Muslim Brotherhood. In the video, men in police uniforms walk along train tracks, joined by a small group of men in civilian dress, and fire several types of firearms at protesters. It is not clear if the protesters shown in the video are supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and, if so, why the police would be firing on supporters of the president.

Video posted online claims to show protesters attacking the Alexandria headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood. At least one protester appears to be carrying a gun.

AlexTV posted a second video from Alexandria on Friday that claims to show young men attacking the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters. At least one of the men is carr! ying a sm! all firearm. Several gunshots can be heard, and it appears that a rival group not seen on camera â€" either the police or supporters of Mr. Morsi â€" is trying to defend the headquarters. Several men appear to discourage the man with the gun from approaching the front line of the clashes, but he does so anyway and fires one shot before retreating. It is not clear what kind of weapon he fired, nor is it clear that this video shows an attack on the Brotherhood headquarters and not a battle elsewhere in the city.

At least seven people have been killed in a string of clashes in the Nile Delta and Alexandria in the last three days. The country is bracing for a day of protests planned for Sunday by opponents of Mr. Morsi, who have called for him to resign. A leader of the once-banned Muslim Brotherhood, Mr. Morsi is Egypt’s first democratically elected president, but opponents accuse him of governing autocratically and presiding over a period of economic deterioration, political deadlock and worsening secarianism.