Poiliticians and military personnel have spoken out over the deaths of dozens of people in shootings at a Muslim Brotherhood sit-in protest in front of the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo:
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Gehad Haddad, Muslim Brotherhood spokesman: Around 3.30am, army and police forces started firing at sit-in protesters in front of the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo. We have people hit in the head, we have bullets that exploded as they entered the body, cluttering body parts. Every police force in the world understands how to disperse a sit-in. This is just a criminal activity targeting protesters. We are sticking to our ground, we will not be brought into a cycle of violence, we know how deadly that would be. We are adamants of bringing democracy to our country. We will not let any bullet or guns to deter us from what we want.
Muslim Brotherhood politician Mohamed el Beltagy: It is ridiculous that they say the Muslim Brotherhood members fired on anyone. Those reports by the military are false. It's a media campaign to smear the image of the Muslim Brotherhood. We are peaceful demonstrators who were attacked while offering prayers at dawn.
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The Salafist Nour Party spokesman: It is as if the former regime is back fully fleshed. We have seen false democracy. This is a strange scene that puts the military in the circle of accusation which we never hoped. We are not taking part in any political process [Priorly, the party supported a transition through military rule].
Mohamed ElBaradei, liberal politician: Violence is not the approach no matter what its source, and it must be strongly condemned. I call for an immediate independent and transparent investigation. Egypt is in dire need of reconciliation.
Ahmed el-Hawary, founding member of al-Dustour Party and member of June 30 front: We cannot blame the Muslim Brotherhood without blaming the army. They are both held accountable for this catastrophe. The brotherhood needs to stop placing its supporters on the frontline, and the army must be more self-controlled. June 30 was all about avoiding a civil war and the spilling of blood. This does not mean, however, targeting a specific sect. The Bortherhood is playing victims to gain international sympathy yet losing whatever is left of the sympathy at home. A speedy formation of the new cabinet is essential at this point, and although consensus is critical. Egypt must not be the hostage of a concurrence based on non-pertinent arguments [referring to Nour party's opposition to proposed prime minister candidates].
Colonel Ahmed Mohammed Ali, military spokesman: Initial information indicates that gunmen affiliated with the Brotherhood tried to storm the Republican Guard building shortly after dawn, firing live ammunition and throwing firebombs from a nearby mosque and rooftops. One police officer on the scene was killed.
Military statement published on the state news agency: An armed terrorist group tried to storm the Republican Guard building, killing one officer and seriously injuring six. The forces arrested 200 attackers, armed with guns and ammunition.
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies