Six Muslim Brotherhood supporters were killed in fierce clashes with police in Cairo on Friday, according to a Health Ministry official speaking to Reuters.
The supporters were killed in al Talbiya town in Giza, when they marched following Eid prayers and were intercepted by police. The number of demonstrators exceeded 300 according to local residents.
Police spokesmen have claimed that the Brotherhood supporters were armed, which could not be verified by locals or witnesses. The details of the events surrounding the clashes that led to the death of the six protesters are also unclear.
Egypt’s state news agency MENA quoted an Egyptian Interior Ministry source as saying security forces intervened and arrested 15 armed Brotherhood members.
The Egyptian government has prohibited organising large prayer areas without governmental direction and supervision.
Separately in Arish, in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, a huge explosion rocked the city. It has not been revealed exactly where the explosion took place or how but the smoke and noise were heard by the whole city, causing panic, according to locals.
The Sinai is torn by an armed insurgency involving militants loyal to ISIS. The ISIS affiliated Wilayet Sinai (Sinai Province), formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, attacked an Egyptian army vessel in territorial waters for the first time on Thursday.
The Egyptian government frequently blames the Muslim Brotherhood, to which Egypt’s deposed previous President Mohamed Morsi belongs, for violent attacks in the Sinai and elsewhere.
However, the Brotherhood, which has been outlawed by the current Egyptian government, has consistently reiterated its commitment to peaceful activism, and pointed out that the current government doesn’t differentiate between hardline groups like ISIS and itself.
The dispersal of Brotherhood supporters in the Rabaa and Nahda camps in Cairo saw over 1,000 people killed and more who were arrested lated given harsh sentences, including mass death sentences and life imprisonment.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi announced that the Rabaa Square will be renamed as Hisham Barakat Square, following the assassination of Hisham Barakat, Egypt’s top prosecutor, last month.
Wilayet Sinai considers the Egyptian Army and Brotherhood alike as “Infidels,” and wages a war against all who take part in the Egyptian government or are Brotherhood members. Attacks by the group target Egypt’s army and police forces in particular.