Interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour has launched and investigation into the death on Monday of at least 51 people who were killed when Islamist demonstrators enraged by the military overthrow of Egypt's elected President Mohamed Morsi said the army opened fire during morning prayers at the Cairo barracks where he is being held.
But the military said "a terrorist group" tried to storm the Republican Guard compound and one army officer had been killed and 40 wounded. Soldiers returned fire when they were attacked by armed assailants, a military source said.
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Mansour expressed sorrow over the deaths, urging restraint amid ongoing unrest.
Military spokesman Ahmed Aly said in a press conference on Monday afternoon that army and police forces protecting the Republican Guard headquarters were attacked by armed groups.
According to Aly, pro-Morsi protesters, who have been gathering outside the Republican Guard headquarters for days, used live ammunition and bird shots against security personnel.
He added that at the time of the attack, another group was shooting from atop a building on Al-Tayaran Street, where the military facility is located.
"A colleague is in Maadi hospital undergoing a four-hour surgery; he was shot with live ammunition in the head, which caused his skull to fracture," said Aly.
Aly said that the officer's injury proves that there was firing from building rooftops.
"Many of the protesters said the army and police murdered children. Those behind this campaign of lies used photos from the war in Syria," the spokesman told reporters.
"The Egyptian army kills its enemies, not its children," Aly said.
Emergency services said more than 435 were wounded in the deadliest incident since Morsi's removal.
ournalists for the pan-Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera were kicked out of the news conference. The Qatar-based news network was founded by the Gulf nation's ruling family. The tiny but wealthy country was a strong supporter of Morsi, who was toppled by the military on Wednesday.
Video courtesy of jn1.tv
The station broadcast graphic images of those killed and wounded in the violence Monday outside a military facility.
During the news conference, one journalist stood up and demanded Al-Jazeera reporters be excluded from the proceedings.
The Al-Jazeera reporters eventually stood up and walked out accompanied by chants of "Out! Out!" from others in the crowd.
The Muslim Brotherhood said on Monday that the chief of the armed forces wanted to drive Egypt to the same fate as Syria.
Holding General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi responsible for the incident in Cairo, the group described the shooting as a "horrible crime" in a statement posted on Facebook. The Brotherhood also issued a statement saying that "even the Jews" did not do what the army did at the Republican Guard compound.
Egypt's prosecution ordered the closure of the Cairo headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party after police found weapons inside it on Monday, a security official said.
Police found "flammable liquid, knives and arms to be used against the June 30 protests," the official said, in reference to demonstrations that saw millions take to the streets to demand the resignation of Islamist president Morsi.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian army is continuing to battle terror elements in the Sinai peninsula. The Palestinian news agency Maan reported that army forces arrested on Sunday 14 members of jihadist groups in Sinai during an operation in the city of El-Arish.
According to Egyptian army sources, among those arrested is one Palestinian, who allegedly confessed that he intended to cooperate with other jihadist terrorists in Sinai in order to assassinate Egyptian army soldiers.
AP, Reuters contributed to the report
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