Almost a thousand supporters of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi took refuge inside a mosque overnight, after becoming surrounded by government security forces. The tense situation finally came to a head only moments ago, when security forces fired tear gas into the mosque, and began dragging people out, amid reports of gunfire. The BBC is now reporting that all protesters have been cleared from the mosque, and the majority have been arrested.
The Muslim Brotherhood supporters had defied a curfew placed by the military last night, taking refuge in the al-Fath mosque in Egypt's Ramses Square. The situation escalated quickly after security forces claimed some of those trapped were firing shots at them, a possible prelude to a massacre against Morsi-supporters, similar to other incidents this week.
Gas canisters and reports of shooting accompanied security officials dragging out the Morsi supporters from the Mosque on Saturday, which follows Friday's "Day of Rage," where protesters clashed repeatedly with police, leaving 173 dead. The al-Fath mosque had been a makeshift hospital and morgue during Friday's clashes.
The army had offered safe passage and transport to an unspecified location for those trapped in the mosque, but protesters remained wary. They believed that they would be handed over to crowds of supporters of the government, who would beat them to death.
"We want to go home in a very polite way," said Hanan Amin, a doctor who spoke with CNN from inside the mosque. "It's a shame for our military persons to deal with our people like this."
The Muslim Brotherhood continues to call for protests, even as the government considers banning the political organization once again, just like it was during the 60 years of military-backed dictatorship before 2011.