By Youssef El Beshlawy
Clashes broke out in Mahalla on Sunday night between supporters and opponents of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, resulting in minor injuries from birdshot and other weapons.
State-run Al-Ahram reported that Major General Hatem Othman, director of security of the Gharbeya governorate, announced that three people were injured in these clashes.
Mahmoud Haroun, an activist in Mahalla, said that the Muslim Brotherhood organised a march after the tarawih prayer from the Abdel-Hay Khalil Pasha mosque to Al-Bandar Square, where they ran into a group opposing them, who “shouted slogans against Morsi.”
He added that anti-Morsi demonstrations started at approximately 10.30am, “but they were disparate and disorganised.” Haroun stated that they headed to Shokry El Qawatly Street, where the clashes started.
“Both sides threw stones at each other, and the Brotherhood fired birdshots. There was even an Al-Qaeda flag….one microbus was burnt on the spot, in front of Omar Al-Khayyam hotel,” he said, claiming that although people tried to storm the hotel to arrest fleeing Brotherhood members, the pro-Morsi protesters vanished in the crowd.
Othman confirmed what Haroun said, adding that fire fighters managed to stop the fire from reaching the hotel and the gas station next to it. He stated that the police had to intervene to control the situation.
Anti-Morsi demonstrators are still surrounding a number of pro-Morsi protesters in the midst of attack and retreat operations in side streets near Abdel-Hay Khalil Pasha mosque
In Kafr Al-Sheikh, in Sidi Salem centre on Sunday night, clashes also erupted between pro-Morsi protestors and townspeople.
Mahmoud Torky, an activist in Kafr Al-Sheikh, said: “around 150 Brotherhood protestors…started chanting slogans against the military, and Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi.” He added that they tried to hang a banner on the burnt FJP headquarters, which agitated the local residents.
”The people of the town tried to dissuade them politely. But the protesters were stubborn. The people started beating them. In five minutes, these protesters were already running away.”