Cairo clashes (archive)
Cairo clashes (archive)Reuters

Two people were killed in clashes between Islamist protesters and Egyptian police in Cairo on Friday, security officials said, according to AFP.

The army and police had fanned out across the capital in anticipation of rallies called by an Islamist group, and police quickly moved in to quash the small gatherings after they began outside mosques.

In the working class district of Matariya, at least two people were killed when protesters clashed with police, health and security officials said.

A health ministry official said one protester had been shot in the chest.

A friend identified him as Mohammed Hassan, and told AFP he was an Islamist who regularly attended anti-government demonstrations.

"The police fired randomly at the protesters," he charged.

The interior ministry, however, maintained that police came under fire from the protesters, and officers arrested one of them carrying a shotgun.

Since the military ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi in July of 2013, Islamists have been repeatedly causing unrest in the country.

The authorities that replaced him have responded with a crackdown on Islamists. Thousands of Morsi’s supporters have been killed and arrested and the Muslim Brotherhood was declared a terrorist organization.

Death sentences on 528 supporters of President Morsi were handed down at a mass trial in March.

In April, another 683 supporters of Morsi, including leading members of his Muslim Brotherhood, were sentenced to death as well.

This week, a court in Egypt sentenced 78 youth to up to five years in prison for protesting with the Muslim Brotherhood. The boys, from 13 to 17 years old, were charged with joining rallies calling for Morsi’s return.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)