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Middle East

Egypt demonstrations turn deadly

At least eight die in Egypt, while UN report says Cairo is using disproportionate levels of violence against protesters.

Last updated: 07 Mar 2014 19:24
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There have been regular demonstrations on Fridays in Egypt [FILE: Reuters]

At least eight people have been killed during clashes between security forces and demonstrators in Egypt, sources have told Al Jazeera.

Seven killed in the al-Alf Maskan district, east of Cairo, sources said, while another was killed in al-Sharqiya, a governate in the north of the country.

There was no confirmation by Egyptian authorities about the deaths, nor how they died.

However, there have been regular clashes on Fridays between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and security forces over the removal of the Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, by the army last year.

Friday's violence came as 27 countries on the UN Human Rights Council said they were concerned about the Egyptian government's use of violence in its crackdown on opposition protesters.

The declaration represents the first reprimand from the international body since security forces forcibly dispersed supporters of Morsi on August14, killing more than six hundred people.

It said: "We express concern about the restrictions on the rights to peaceful assembly, expression and association, and about the disproportionate use of lethal force by security forces against demonstrators which resulted in large numbers of deaths and injuries."

The declaration also said that the government should be held accountable, no matter the security challenges it faces.

On Wednesday an Egyptian government inquiry found 624 ciivilians were killed on August 14 as security forces tried to clear weeks-long sit-in protests in two camps in the Egyptian capital by pro-Morsi supporters.

The report by the National Council for Human Rights concluded that police had failed to maintain restraint and did not allow protesters to leave the area quickly enough.

The report went on to say that the civilian deaths were partially due to protest organisers allowing gunmen into the camp, and that the violence began when a policeman was killed by shots fired from a mosque.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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