Problemet med å rapportere fra Egypt er at de to partene har totalt forskjellige narrativer. Versjonene til Brorskapet og deres motstandere lar seg ikke forene. Vestlige medier tar en lettvint utvei når de konsentrerer seg om tapstallene og tar det som bevis på hvem som begynte og hvem som er skyldig. Egyptere vet at så enkelt er det ikke.
New York Times har fremstilling som virker plausibel: islamistene bryter opp og setter seg i bevegelse og går mot 6. Oktober-broen. De skaper trafikkproblemer, og på broen står politiet og akter ikke slippe dem forbi. Ord slynges gjennom luften, det samme gjør stener. Mange islamister har reist inn fra andre byer. Noen vil gjerne bli martyrer.
På forhånd hadde mange fryktet sammenstøt når en massiv anti-Morsi-demo skulle foregå samme dag, men fredagen forløp uten de helt store konfrontsjoner.
That changed around 10:30 p.m., when groups of Mr. Morsi’s supporters left their vast encampment in Nasr City, marching toward the central October 6 Bridge, where police officers were stationed, according to witnesses. Several people said that the protesters had left the camp because it had become overcrowded, and that people had fanned out from the encampment along several boulevards. Others said they had planned to march through a nearby neighborhood.
The group that came under attack walked down Nasr Street, past the reviewing stand where President Anwar el-Sadat was assassinated in 1981, and the pyramid-shaped memorial to the unknown soldier across the street, toward the bridge.
“We didn’t have any weapons,” said Mohamed Abdulhadi, who said he had joined the march, which was “not violent.” More than 10 other witnesses confirmed his assertion.
The Interior Ministry released a video after the killings that it said showed Morsi supporters firing birdshot at the police and damaging property. It showed protesters throwing rocks, unidentified people wandering into traffic, and one man pulling out what appeared to be a silver pistol and firing it, though it is not clear who the man was, or which side of the fighting he was on.
Mohamed Saeed, an agricultural engineer, said he and some of the other protesters had started to exchange words with the officers before even reaching the bridge.
“You know how it is,” he said. “Some of us said some provocative things, and the tear gas started.”
The protesters threw rocks, and the confrontation quickly escalated, Mr. Saeed and others said. The Morsi supporters feared that the police were preparing to storm their encampment, so they started building brick walls on the road to “to prevent them from coming into the sit-in,” Mr. Saeed said.
An hour and a half after the clashes started, the police and their allies started firing live ammunition and pellet guns, Mr. Saeed said. Other witnesses said they had seen snipers on the roofs of nearby buildings.
Ahmed Hagag was there with his best friend, Ashraf. They had rushed to the front line bearing aid for their comrades, but it was useless given the kind of violence under way. “We went there with masks and vinegar,” he said, in preparation for the tear gas.
Ashraf, who had been “yearning for martyrdom,” did not want to stand in the back, Mr. Hagag said. “So it happened, and a bullet ended up in his heart.”
På vestlige medier får man inntrykk av at Brorskapet har den moralske retten på sin side etter det som har skjedd. Slik opplever ikke egypterne det. Sympatien er ikke på islamistenes side. Derfor står Brorskapet nå i en trengt posisjon. De har folket mot seg, og myndighetene vender seg mot dem.
Innenriksministeren varslet lørdag at han reaktiverer en spesialenhet fra Mubaraks tid som utelukkende overvåket islamister. Metodene som ble brukt var man ikke så nøye på.
The violence left the Brotherhood in an increasingly dire position, facing the prospect of a ban of the kind it suffered before the uprising against President Hosni Mubarak. Its options at this point are limited, said Samer S. Shehata, a professor of Arab politics at the University of Oklahoma and an authority on the group.
“They really can’t resort to violence,” he said. “They don’t have a militia and it runs against all their rhetoric and recent history.”
Mr. Ibrahim, the interior minister, raised the prospect of a new threat to the Brotherhood, saying Saturday that he was reconstituting a state security agency that under Mr. Mubarak was responsible for monitoring Islamists and known for carrying out torture and forced disappearances. Without security agencies that have a political focus, Mr. Ibrahim said, “the security of the country doesn’t work.”