More than 100 people killed and 1,000 injured in clashes in Egypt as deposed president Morsi is formally accused of murder and conspiracy with Hamas
More than 100 people are believed to have been killed at a protest in support of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi.
Security forces are reported to have started shooting demonstrators shortly before pre-dawn morning prayers at a round-the-clock vigil in Cairo being staged by backers of Morsi, who was removed from power by the army three weeks ago.
Makeshift field hospitals around the area near the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque were overwhelmed, with one doctor telling the BBC that more than 1,000 had been injured.
The state health ministry said 20 people had died and 177 suffered injuries.
Al Jazeera Egypt reported that 120 had been killed and some 4,500 injured in the early morning violence near the capital's Rabaa al-Adawia mosque.
'They are not shooting to wound, they are shooting to kill,' said pro-Morsi Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad.
Reporters at the scene said firing could still be heard hours after the troubles started.
The deaths occurred hours after supporters and opponents of Morsi staged mass rival rallies across the country.
Hundreds of thousands of people came onto the streets after army chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who played a central role in overthrowing the president, called for Egyptians to rally to give him a mandate to tackle 'violence and terrorism'.
But Muslim Brotherhood supporters also staged mass counter-rallies, demanding the reinstatement of Morsi, who was placed under investigation on Friday for a raft of crimes, including murder.
More than 200 people have died in violence since the overthrow of Morsi, including at least nine on Friday, most of them Brotherhood supporters.
Mr Haddad said the latest deaths came after police started firing repeated rounds of teargas around 3am at protesters who had spilled out of the main area of the Rabaa sit-in.
'Through the smog of the gas, the bullets started flying,' he said.
He claimed 'special police forces in black uniforms' were firing live rounds and that snipers shot from the roofs of a university, buildings in the area, and a bridge.
State news agency MENA quoted an unnamed security source as saying that only teargas was used to disperse protesters. He said no firearms were used.
Mr Haddad said the pro-Morsi supporters had used rocks to try to defend themselves.
On the podium outside the Rabaa mosque, a speaker urged people to retreat from the gunfire, but Mr Haddad said 'men stayed to defend themselves because women and children are inside the sit-in'.
Senior Brotherhood politician Saad el-Hosseini said: 'I have been trying to make the youth withdraw for five hours. I can't. They are saying have paid with their blood and they do not want to retreat.'
Egypt's army-installed interior minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, said on Friday that the month-old Cairo vigils by Morsi supporters would be 'brought to an end, soon and in a legal manner', state-run al Ahram news website reported.
Yesterday the country's new rulers accused Morsi of conspiring with the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and plotting to attack police stations, army officers and prisons during the 2011 uprising against former president Hosni Mubarak.
During the 2011 struggles, he had escaped from a prison and has now been accused of the 'premeditated killing of officers, soldiers and prisoners'.
The announcement by prosecutors of the investigation against Morsi is likely to pave the way to a formal indictment and eventually a trial.
It was the first news of his legal status since he was deposed by the military on July 3. Since then, the Islamist leader has been held incommunicado in a secret location.
Besides Morsi, five other senior figures from the group have been detained. Hassan Mohammed, a 30-year old teacher who came from southern Egypt to join the pro-Morsi rally, remained steadfast.
'Even if we are going to die, me and my family, we won't leave this place before our president comes back. Even if it takes seven years. We are ready to be martyrs in the name of religion and the nation,' he said.
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