At least 50 people were killed in clashes in Egypt yesterday (October 6), after supporters and opponents of the country's deposed president Mohammed Morsi took to the streets for rival protests, the France 24 website reports today (October 7, 2013).
At least 45 people were killed in Cairo and at least another 268 were wounded in cities across Egypt, senior health ministry official Ahmed al-Ansari said.
The demonstrations began early in the day as thousands of supporters of the military-backed interim government thronged Cairo's symbolic Tahrir Square, waving Egyptian flags and brandishing posters of army chief General Abdel Fatah al Sisi, who led the July 3 military coup that deposed Morsi. However, Islamist backers of Morsi staged their own counter protests, and clashes between the two groups soon broke out, with police firing tear gas to disperse the protesters.
The protests fell on the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War -- also known as the Yom Kippur War -- a surprise Arab attack against Israel on an important Jewish holiday that eventually led to the recovery of the Sinai Peninsula in a 1979 peace treaty. The war is celebrated each year in Egypt on October 6 as a national holiday.