Middle East

Egypt crisis: BBC's Jeremy Bowen on the ground in Cairo

Image caption Cairo is now under curfew as the army cracks down on pro-Morsi protesters

Dozens of people were killed on Friday across Egypt, as protesters loyal to the ousted President Mohammed Morsi clashed with security forces.

Most of the reported deaths were in the capital Cairo, where demonstrators gathered at the central Ramses Square.

The BBC's Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen (@BowenBBC), was in Cairo and tweeted updates as he witnessed the violence unfold.

1000 GMT:

Cairo streets almost empty by usual standards. City feeling nervous ahead of planned MB [Muslim Brotherhood] demos.

Crowd already gathering in Ramses Sq, Cairo. MB plans more than 20 marches will converge there.

At Tawheed mosque near Ramses Sq. Men here say they'll march after the prayer.

Sermon at mosque focusing on what prophet Mohammad did in time of war. And how he made peace.

1100 GMT:

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionJeremy Bowen at a makeshift morgue: "So many bodies that doctors had to send out for more cotton to wrap them in"

So many men here lined up to pray in petrol station next door.

Sermon saying Muslims taking side of military are bad Muslims who'll go to hell.

On judgement day Muslims who oppose Islamic country will have the worst of torture, says sermon.

Sermon saying whether Egypt is Islamic or not vital issue of identity

Sermon says [military leader Gen Gen Abdul Fattah al-] Sisi's message to the west is that if W is soft on Islamists, Islamic empire will revive and W will suffer.

Fear in Egypt not just among Islamists that [ousted President Hosni] Mubarak's security state is being revived.

Prayer ended, now chanting God is my support. Preparing to march.

One placard says Hitler burnt Jews and Sisi burnt Egyptians.

Crowd yelling at military chopper overhead. Chant: we will teach Sisi how to behave, & real anger.

Now marching towards Ramses Sq past Christian church sprayed with graffiti "Islam is the answer".

Chant: the people want to execute Sisi.

A few secular men among the beards saying they're marching against the coup, not for Islam.

1200 GMT:

Image caption The BBC team could hear bullets above their heads

Bullets and pellets pinging into buildings above heads of BBC team and demonstrators, so pulled back.

Police station on edge of Ramses attacked. Tear gas and live fire over heads used to disperse crowd.

Wounded man brought back on motor scooter. Crowd immediately chant 'thugs' - meaning the police.

Ramses demo stayed peaceful for less than an hour. Sign of incendiary mix in divided Egypt.

Reliable reports from 15 May bridge in Cairo of "random shooting". Couple of miles from where I am in Ramses Sq.

1300 GMT:

Men at Ramses tearing down steel fences to make barricades for when army and police move in Cairo.

Many casualties in mosque near Ramses.

I can see 4 bodies and many bad gunshot wounds.

Via Mosque loudspeaker, calls for doctors.

1400 GMT:

As BBC team left mosque/field hospital, woman outside in niqab shouted repeatedly about Egypt army commander "Sisi is a killer".

Now near posh Garden City area of Cairo. Plainclothes police at road block stopped us, seem friendly. Automatic weapons fire fairly close.

Police saying Nile Corniche [seafront] area scene of clashes. Bizarrely, KFC delivery guy on moped drives through police block heading for gunfire.

By the time I left mosque, counted 12 dead laid out. Many casualties still coming in. #Cairo

1500 GMT:

Now trying to cross Nile to get back to hotel to file story & pix. But getting to the bridges difficult, roadblocks and some gunfire.

Flak jackets back on. but not far from firing. Cairo back streets life going. Boys with table tennis in street, shisha cafes with TV news.

Behind Tahrir Sq some local vigilantes running road blocks. They let us through.

Result! Crossing 6th Oct bridge over Nile.