CAIRO (Reuters) - At least three demonstrators were shot dead outside the Republican Guard barracks in Cairo where deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi is being held, security sources said.
The sources said security forces had opened fire. A spokesman for the army said troops had only fired blank rounds and teargas. A Reuters journalist saw demonstrators hit by shotgun pellets.
It was not clear whether security forces other than the army were present.
Hundreds of supporters of Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood had marched towards the suburban compound and gathered outside. A Reuters journalist heard shotgun fire and saw at least eight people among the protesters who had been wounded.
He had seen hundreds of demonstrators approach the military cordon. A handful of men walked to a barbed wire barrier and place a poster of Mursi on it. A soldier removed it and tore it up.
The crowd shouted curses at the soldiers, some waved shoes in a traditional gesture of insult.
The Reuters journalist saw troops fire in the air. He then heard shotgun fire and at least eight demonstrators hit. Tear gas rounds burst, dispersing the crowd.
An hour later, hundreds of demonstrators were still nearby, some praying. Some waved posters of Mursi, who was ousted by the armed forces on Wednesday after mass protests against him.
One man held up hands stained red and said: “This is the blood of those who died.”
Soldiers were still in place behind barbed wire. Military helicopters periodically flew overhead.
The Muslim Brotherhood called on its website for more of its supporters to congregate there.
Reporting by Mahmoud Ali and Alexander Dziadosz; Writing by Alastair Macdonald; Editing by Tom Perry