* Muslim Brotherhood says 37 killed in Cairo shooting
* Army - "terrorist group" tried to storm building
* Incident at site where deposed president held
* Islamist party pulls out of interim government talks
By Tom Perry and Maggie Fick
CAIRO, July 8 At least 15 people were killed in
Cairo on Monday, medical sources said, when the Muslim
Brotherhood said shots were fired at supporters of deposed
Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi near the military building
where he is being held.
The bloodshed deepened Egypt's political crisis, escalating
the struggle between the army, which overthrew Mursi last
Wednesday after mass demonstrations demanding his resignation,
and the Brotherhood, which has denounced what it called a coup.
The military said "a terrorist group" tried to storm the
Republican Guard compound and one army officer had been killed
and 40 wounded. Soldiers returned fire when they were attacked
by armed assailants, a military source said.
The Brotherhood's official spokesman, Gehad El-Haddad, who
is at a pro-Mursi sit-in at a mosque near the scene, said 37
Mursi supporters had been killed.
He said shooting broke out in the early morning while
Islamists were praying and staging a peaceful sit-in outside the
Republican Guard barracks.
"We call on all patriotic brave Egyptians 2 join us @...
sitin to defend country from conspiratorial traitors of military
coup," he said in a Twitter message.
As an immediate consequence, the ultra-conservative Islamist
Nour party, which initially supported the military intervention,
said it was withdrawing from stalled negotiations to form an
interim government for the transition to fresh elections.
Al Jazeera's Egypt news channel broadcast footage of what
appeared to be five men killed in the violence, and medics
applying cardiopulmonary resuscitation to an unconscious man at
a makeshift clinic at a nearby pro-Mursi sit-in.
A Reuters television producer at the scene saw first aid
helpers attempting mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on a dying man.
Wounded people were being ferried to the field hospital on
motorbikes, given first aid treatment and taken away in
The military overthrew Mursi on Wednesday after mass
nationwide demonstrations led by youth activists demanding his
resignation. The Brotherhood denounced the intervention as a
coup and vowed peaceful resistance.
Military vehicles sealed off traffic in a wide area around
the Rabaa Adawia mosque where Mursi supporters led by senior
Brotherhood leaders have been staging protests since his ouster.
The army also closed two of the main bridges across the Nile
River with armoured vehicles, witnesses said.
Talks on forming a new government were already in trouble
before Monday's shooting, after the Nour party rejected two
liberal-minded candidates for prime minister proposed by interim
head of state Adli Mansour.
Nour, Egypt's second biggest Islamist party, which is vital
to give the new authorities a veneer of Islamist backing, said
it had withdrawn from the negotiations in protest at what it
called the "massacre at the Republican Guard (compound)".
"We've announced our withdrawal from all tracks of
negotiations as a first response," party spokesman Nader Bakar
said on Facebook.
The military can ill afford a lengthy political vacuum at a
time of violent upheaval and economic stagnation in the Arab
world's largest nation of 84 million people.
Scenes of running street battles between pro- and anti-Mursi
demonstrators in Cairo, Alexandria and cities across the country
have alarmed Egypt's allies, including key aid donors the United
States and Europe, and Israel, with which Egypt has had a
U.S.-backed peace treaty since 1979.
At least 35 people died in violence on Friday and Saturday
in fresh turmoil that came two and a half years after autocratic
ruler Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a 2011 uprising.
While Sunday was calmer, the sight of huge crowds numbering
hundreds of thousands gathering in different parts of Cairo was
a reminder of the risks of further instability.
The army appeared to be counting on exhaustion and the onset
of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan from Tuesday to wear down
the Brotherhood protesters.
However, even before Monday's incident, many were determined
to hold out and die for their cause if necessary.
Hanim Ahmad Ali Al-Sawi, 55, spent Sunday encamped outside
the Republican Guard barracks where Mursi has been helped since
"We will not leave until Mursi returns. Otherwise we'll die
as martyrs," she said, as soldiers and policemen looked on from
behind barbed wire. She had been there with her five children
for the last three days in spite of the scorching heat.
For many Islamists, the overthrow of Egypt's first freely
elected president was a bitter reversal that raised fears of a
return to the suppression they endured for decades under
autocratic rulers like Mubarak.
On the other side of the political divide, hundreds of
thousands of Mursi's opponents poured into Cairo's Tahrir
Square, the cradle of the popular uprising to oust him.
On Sunday night, a carnival atmosphere took hold, and a
troupe of folk musicians played darabukka drums and mizmar
flutes as others danced and let off fireworks.
The army has denied it staged a coup, saying instead it was
merely enforcing the will of the people after mass protests on
June 30 calling for Mursi's resignation.
People blamed the Brotherhood for economic stagnation and
said it was trying to take over every part of the state, an
accusation the movement stringently denies.
Washington has not condemned the military takeover or called
it a coup, prompting suspicion within the Brotherhood that it
tacitly supports the overthrow.
Obama has ordered a review to determine whether annual U.S.
assistance of $1.5 billion, most of which goes to the Egyptian
military, should be cut off as required by law if a country's
military ousts a democratically elected leader.
But U.S. lawmakers said that was unlikely to happen.
"We should continue to support the military, the one
stabilizing force in Egypt that I think can temper down the
political feuding," U.S. Representative Mike Rogers said on
CNN's "State of the Union".
Egypt can ill afford to lose foreign aid. The country
appears headed for a looming funding crunch unless it can
quickly access money from overseas. The local currency has lost
11 percent of its value since late last year.
The governor of Egypt's central bank, Hisham Ramez, flew to
Abu Dhabi on Sunday, officials at Cairo airport said, following
Egyptian media reports Cairo was seeking financial aid from Gulf
states after Mursi's removal.
Egypt's foreign reserves fell $1.12 billion in June to
$14.92 billion, representing less than three months of imports.
Only about half are in the form of cash or in securities
that can easily be spent, and the IMF considers three months to
be the minimum safe cushion for reserves.