Germany urges independent probe of Egypt killings
BERLIN - Agence France-Presse
An Egyptian man walks past the debris following over night clashes between Muslim Brotherhood supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi and the police close to the elite Republican Guards base and the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque where they were camped in Cairo, on July 8, 2013. AFP photoGermany called for an independent inquiry into the killing of 42 loyalists of Egypt's ousted president Monday, saying it feared political violence in the country could continue to spiral.
Expressing "shock" about the reports of demonstrators killed while protesting last week's military coup in Cairo, the foreign ministry in Berlin said that all sides must now refrain from bloodshed.
"There is the grave concern that there could be a further escalation of violence in Egypt," it said in a statement.
"We call on all forces to act with moderation and to renounce violence in all forms. We urge a quick investigation of today's events by an independent authority." The Muslim Brotherhood, which has led demonstrations against the overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last Wednesday, said its supporters were "massacred" when police and troops fired on them during dawn prayers outside an elite army headquarters in Cairo.
The military blamed "terrorists" while witnesses, including Brotherhood supporters at the scene, told AFP the armed forces fired only warning shots and tear gas, and that "thugs" in civilian clothes had carried out the deadly shooting.
A senior medical official told AFP at least 42 people were killed and 322 wounded.
Germany, Europe's top economy, has committed around 30 million euros ($39 million) to a "transformation partnership" in Egypt with the aim of developing democratic institutions.
In a sharp statement last week, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle called the military intervention "a major setback for democracy in Egypt" and warned that any crackdown against Morsi supporters could lead to consequences for German support.