Al-Azhar Sunni authority condemns Egypt deaths, urges probe
CAIRO - Agence France-Presse
In this Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011 file photo, Ahmed el-Tayeb the grand sheik of Cairo's Al-Azhar, the pre-eminent theological institute of Sunni Islam, talks to the media in Cairo, Egypt. AP photoThe sheikh of Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's top authority, condemned July 27 the deaths of dozens of supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi and called for an inquiry.
"The sheikh of Al-Azhar deplores and condemns the deaths of a number of martyrs who were victims of today's events," Ahmed al-Tayyeb, who heads the Cairo-based Al-Azhar, said in a statement.
The grand imam called for an "urgent judicial investigation" and punishment of those responsible "regardless of their affiliation." The statement came after dozens of Morsi supporters were killed in the early hours of Saturday at a long-running protest calling for the reinstatement of Morsi, who was ousted in a military-led coup on July 3.
Witnesses accused security forces of using live fire, but the interior ministry said only tear gas was fired at demonstrators.
Morsi's camp said more than 100 people were killed. An AFP correspondent counted 37 bodies in an Islamist-run field hospital at Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, and the emergency services said other hospitals received 29 corpses.