The headquarters of Egypt‘s Muslim Brotherhood have been burned and ransacked following an all-night siege – one day after millions protested on Egypt’s streets calling for President Mohamed Morsi’s resignation.
In an episode reminiscent of the sacking of Hosni Mubarak’s political headquarters during Egypt’s 2011 uprising, around 50 anti-Brotherhood protesters spent the night attacking the compound – situated on a rocky, isolated outcrop in east Cairo – with molotov cocktails, causing a series of small fires and explosions.
With police nowhere to be seen, Brotherhood cadres returned fire, killing at least four, and injuring at least 80 – according to medics at the scene.
Both sides told the Guardian that the other had started the battle, which began at around 7pm on Sunday. It was not possible to verify either claim.
At roughly 7am, after 12 hours of fighting, Brotherhood reinforcements arrived – possibly, bystanders said, because one of the fires had grown too big, and those inside now feared being smoked out. The reinforcements covered their colleagues’ exit with live fire – the Guardian later saw bullets being plucked from the wall. Bystanders said that some Brotherhood members were injured and handed to the authorities during the blaze.