Three people were killed and 15 injured in clashes between protesters and supporters of President Mohamed Morsi in Assiut, early Monday morning.
The protest was part of nationwide demonstrations to demand early presidential elections.
According to Al-Dostour Party in Assiut, protesters near the Assiut governorate building were attacked by supporters of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) who were securing their party headquarters, one kilometre from the governorate building.
Major General Abul Qassem Abu Deif, the security director in Assiut said the assailants came from Abo Hashish Street where the FJP headquarters are located and fired on protesters.
Mohamed Nassef Shaker, Abanob Adel and Mohamed Abdel Hamid died of gunshot wounds, according to Abo Deif, adding that a police officer was among the wounded.
The FJP released a statement following the events saying that protesters attacked FJP headquarters, firing weapons and throwing molotov cocktails at the “Islamist youth guarding the headquarters”. According to the FJP, police intervened to protect the FJP building.
“We condemn all forms of violence and are keen on adhering to peaceful demonstrations since we started the events for supporting the legitimacy that we started in Assiut more than a week ago,” read the FJP statement as reported by state-owned MENA.
Central Security Forces stationed an armoured vehicle nearby after using teargas to disperse the crowd.
The FJP released a subsequent statement criticizing media coverage of the clashes, denying FJP members shooting at protesters; they said such reports led to attacks on their headquarters and the injury of four members of the party.