World Bulletin/News Desk
Hundreds of people besieged inside the Fath Mosque in Cairo's Ramses Square have launched a hunger strike.
"Around 300 people, mostly women, have launched a hunger strike until a safe exit is provided for them or protection from thugs and security forces," Heba Zakaria, an Anadolu Agency journalist, said.
She denied media reports that all protesters had been cleared from the mosque.
"We are still besieged by army and police troops along with thugs who are threatening us with death," she said.
"We have been told by army troops that we won't be evacuated for fears of being killed by thugs and that they would not be able to protect us," she added.
Hundreds of protesters, including women and children, had taken refuge in the mosque following assault by security forces in Ramses Square escalated.
Later, security forces tightened control over the entire square and besieged Fath Mosque and the nearby Tawheed Mosque.
The protesters fear that they would be attacked by thugs and angry residents if they went out, and decided to stay inside the mosque.
More than 181 people were killed Friday in mass rallies staged by pro-democracy demonstrators in several Egyptian cities to protest Wednesday's violent dispersal of their two main protest sites in Cairo and Giza.
Egypt has been in a state of turmoil since security forces violently dispersed the sit-ins in Rabaa al-Adawiya and Nahda squares on Wednesday.
The Health Ministry has said that at least 638 people had been killed in nationwide violence since Wednesday, including 288 in Rabaa and 87 in Nahda.
However, the pro-Morsi alliance has put the number of deaths from the Rabaa sit-in alone at some 2,600.Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Ağustos 2013, 19:35