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Friday, July 5, 2013

Videos Show Shooting of Protester in Egypt

As my colleagues Ben Hubbard, David Kirkpatrick and Mayy El-Sheikh report from Cairo, large protests in support of the ousted president Mohamed Morsi were marred by violence on Friday, when witnesses said that at least five demonstrators were killed by security forces outside the Republican Guards barracks where it is believed Mr. Morsi is being held.

Reuters reported that one of its journalists saw Egyptian security forces fire into the air, then “heard shotgun fire” and saw “at least eight demonstrators hit,” as a military helicopter flew over the crowd.

Simon Hanna, a British-Egyptian journalist in Cairo, drew attention to a video posted on YouTube on Friday that appeared to show at least one pro-Morsi protester shot in the head from close range by Egyptian troops standing behind barbed wire outside the barracks where Mr. Morsi is believed to be held. The video contains graphic content.

Video posted to YouTube on Friday shows a pro-Morsi protester shot in the head and killed by Egyptian security forces outside the barracks where the deposed president is believed to be held.

Cliff Cheney, an American photojournalist who lives and works in Egypt, drew attention to a second video that appeared to show the same dead protester from a different angle. Mr. Cheney was not in Egypt on Friday.

Video posted to YouTube on Friday appeared to show the body of the same protester shot by Egyptian security forces from a second angle.

Before the shooting began, Reuters said that its journalist observed the following interaction between pro-Morsi protesters and Egyptian soldiers guarding the barracks.

He had seen hundreds of demonstrators approach the military cordon. A handful of men walked to a barbed wire barrier and place a poster of Mursi on it. A soldier removed it and tore it up. The crowd shouted curses at the soldiers, some waved shoes in a traditional gesture of insult.

The Egyptian-British journalist and blogger Sarah Carr, who was at the scene of the shooting, said in an update posted to Twitter that a witness told her that a man was shot by Republican Guards after he tried to put a picture of Mr. Morsi on the barbed wire ringing their barracks. She later posted a picture of the man to Twitter.

Alastair Beach, a correspondent in Cairo for the British newspaper The Independent who was at the scene of the shooting, said in an update posted to Twitter that shots were fired when protesters approached the barbed-wire barricade after soldiers had warned them not to. However, he said, some witnesses told him that the shooter was not a uniformed soldier, but one of several men behind the barricade who appeared to be in civilian clothes.

Sharif Abdel Kouddous, a Cairo-based correspondent for The Nation magazine and the radio show Democracy Now, was reporting from the protests when the shooting began. He posted a series of updates and pictures to Twitter that captured the tension and confusion in the crowd, and also showed at least one dead body being carried away in a makeshift funeral shroud.

Jeremy Bowen, Middle East editor for the BBC, was also reporting from the protest when the violence broke out, and said he was mildly injured when he was hit on the head by several shotgun pellets. He posted several updates to Twitter throughout the shooting and immediately afterward, describing what he witnessed, including the body of one protester that he believed had been killed by “live fire” from the security forces.

After the shooting ended, Mr. Kouddous posted a picture to Twitter of Mr. Bowen staring at the ground as two men wrapped his head injury with a white bandage. “He’s O.K.,” Mr. Kouddous said.

Robert Mackey contributed reporting.