I was up until the wee hours of the morning today watching news and following my Twitter feed about the few hundred Morsi loyalists who were trapped by Egyptian police in the Fatah Mosque in Cairo.
As an acknowledgement to the “fog of war,” at one point Daily Telegraph reporter Ruth Sherlock claimed on Twitter that the army had stormed the mosque. And yet, as I quickly noted, I was watching a live Skype feed from INSIDE the mosque on Alhiwar (a pro-Morsi TV station) at that very moment that clearly showed there was no action being taken at that time. In fairness, there are a lot of reports and rumors circulating. This kind of stuff happens in fluid situations.
A few hours later the police did move in after they came under fire from inside the mosque. Three Reuters reporters were on the scene to provide a first-hand account of what exactly happened.
Amazingly, they recounted in a subsequent article that what appeared to be the the wife of the known Muslim Brotherhood leader was giving the go-ahead to gunmen inside the mosque to begin opening fire on the police below that were trying to negotiate their exit under safe conduct:
Tensions started to run high when a woman wearing a niqab – the full head to toe black veil – tried to walk out of the mosque, said a Reuters witness.
A group of about 10 soldiers had been telling people to leave the mosque and that they would be in no danger.
When the woman approached them, people in the mosque could be overheard saying she was the wife of a Brotherhood leader and was in danger of being arrested. She walked back into the mosque, looked up and said something to a group of pro-Mursi gunmen armed with AK-47 assault rifles.
That is when the shooting started.
Again, there were multiple Reuters reporters on the scene. That didn’t prevent CNN’s resident Muslim Brotherhood cheerleader Reza Sayah from claiming that there was no gunfire from the mosque earlier today. And the Western media wonder why Egyptians complain about biased coverage.
Outside the mosque a mob had formed wanting to get at the Morsi loyalists inside. Once the mosque had been cleared, the police had to escort the Muslim Brotherhood supporters through the crowd to safety.