A 22-year-old Egyptian journalist died of a gunshot wound in Cairo while covering clashes between supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi and security forces and residents, local news outlets reported.
The death of Mayada Ashraf, of the newspaper El-Dostour, came amidst continuing unrest in Egypt since the overthrow of the democratically-elected Morsi. At least four other people died in the turmoil that was spurred by the recent announcement that 528 Morsi supporters were sentenced to death. for an attack on a police station in August
Ambulances were initially unable to reach Ashraf’s body during the clashes, the Committee to Protect Journalists said, citing an Egyptian television report.
It is unclear who fired the shots that killed Ashraf and others. Authorities and Brotherhood blame each other for violence. According to Reuters an Interior Ministry said in a statement that Muslim Brotherhood gunmen are responsible for the deaths.
Some pro-army outlets as well as Ashrafs newspaper El-Dostour also accused them of shooting her. Editor in Chief Essam Nabaoui told Germany’s Deutsche Welle, that Ashraf reported about Muslim Brotherhood supporters who had shot into the crowd. "She has seen her murderers before they killed her."
Two days after her death, an Egyptian prosecutor issued an arrest warrant in her death for a Muslim Brotherhood protester injured during the clash.
The move is "an attempt to exonerate the police officer who killed her," according to the United Kingdom-based Middle East Monitor, which cited witnesses and published YouTube videos the publication said provided evidence that Ashraf was killed by a police sniper.
According to her Facebook profile, Ashraf had opposed former president Morsi but also rejected military commander Abdel Fatah el-Sisi’s presidential candidacy as well as recent killings of Morsi supporters.. Middle East Monitor translated one of her Facebook posts as "Morsi is not worth dying for, but also Al-Sisi is not worth renouncing our humanity for."
At least four other journalists have been killed covering clashes since the army ousted Morsi in July, according to the Committe to Protect Journalists.