Gaza City - Gaza's Islamist Hamas rulers on Monday
condemned the "massacre" of dozens of people demonstrating against
last week's military coup, which ousted former Egyptian president Mohammed
Morsi, calling for an end to the bloodshed.
"Hamas condemns the massacre of dozens of peaceful
Egypt civilians today at dawn, expresses its profound pain and sadness over the
victims, and calls for an end to the bloodshed among the Egyptian people,"
it said in a statement.
According to the Muslim Brotherhood, the party from which
Morsi hails, at least 35 people were killed when soldiers and police opened
fire on a group of its activists, who were holding dawn prayers at their
protest camp outside the headquarters of the elite Republican Guard in Cairo.
But a senior medical official put the death toll at 42
and said 322 people were wounded in an attack whose circumstances were
disputed, with witnesses saying the army had only fired tear gas and warning
shots, claiming the gunfire was carried out by "thugs" dressed as
In a statement, the army said "armed
terrorists" tried to storm the base, leaving one security officer dead and
six critically wounded.
Last week, senior Hamas official Yussef Rizq had
criticised the ouster of Morsi in a posting on his Facebook page.
"What happened in Egypt, his eviction and removal of
power, is not part of a genuine democratic process, because they used military
force and not the voice of the people through elections," Rizq wrote on