Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammad Morsi clash with the Egyptian security forces Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013 in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo. (AP/Khalil Hamra, File)
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Around 6:30 a.m., police armored vehicles rumbled up to the barricades at the edges of the anti-government sit-in where thousands of Islamists had camped out for weeks in a Cairo square.At least 624 people were killed during 12 hours of mayhem in Cairo's Rabaah al-Adawiyah Square, though rights groups have said the toll may be several hundred higher.Authorities contend police only responded with live ammunition on anyone who fired on them -- and eight policemen were killed by gunmen in the square during the assault.The orders to police were to "act according to the situation and by degrees of escalation," two generals in the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of the police, told the AP. But also, security forces were told to expect protesters to have weapons and were free to swiftly move to eliminate them, they said.Within 15 minutes of the start of the dispersal on Aug. 14, casualties started flooding into a clinic set up by protesters in the reception hall of the Rabaah Mosque: guards from the barricades on the sit-in's eastern edge with gaping wounds from heavy caliber guns, said Fatma Yahya Bayad, a surgeon in the clinic.The generals said that when Gouda was killed, security forces panicked and let loose with heavy fire.However, the accounts of Bayad and Iddrissi suggest the first gunshot casualties among protesters -- on the far side of the sit-in from Gouda's shooting -- had already happened.
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