At least 54 people were killed and 300 more were injured when the Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian military tangled outside the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo on Monday. The deadly encounter comes less than a week after President Mohamed Morsi was deposed.

Juan Cole:

There were two narratives about what happened. The army maintained that armed individuals tried to raid the military barracks, where they think deposed President Muhammad Morsi is being held. In this telling, there was an attempted violent jailbreak by Morsi’s militant followers, which the troops fought off, returning fire. The army said that an officer was killed and 40 military men were wounded in the “terrorist attack.”

The other narrative, from the Muslim Brotherhood side, is that the Brothers were peacefully praying near the barracks, when suddenly Egyptian military troops fell on them and massacred them. (Some Brotherhood sources were claiming 40 dead and dozens wounded early Monday morning).

Both narratives are problematic. The army’s description of a “terrorist attack” sounds propagandistic. The Brotherhood account doesn’t indicate a motive for the army abruptly to launch an attack on peaceful demonstrators.

The Muslim religious Right is charging the government with an unprovoked massacre. Even the liberal Muslim politician, Abdel Moneim Aboul Futouh, a former presidential candidate who broke with the Muslim Brotherhood years ago, called on interim president Adly Mansour to step down over the incident.

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Per the Huffington Post, the following video, which was uploaded to YouTube on Monday, appears to show Egyptian security opening fire on a large crowd of protesters outside of what is purported to be the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo. Some of the images may disturb some people and viewer discretion is advised.

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