A photographer filming a protest by members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood may have captured his own death on film.
Ahmed Samir Assem, 26, was photographing soldiers on rooftops outside the Egyptian Army’s Republican Guard officers’ club in Cairo Monday, where 51 people were killed in the deadliest night of violence in the last two weeks.
The footage shows an Egyptian soldier on a rooftop as he aims, fires and the screen goes to black. One hour later, Assem was reported dead.
“At around 6 a.m., a man came into the media center with a camera covered in blood and told us that one of our colleagues had been injured,” Ahmed Abu Zeid, editor of Al-Horia Wa Al-Adala, told The Daily Telegraph. “Around an hour later, I received news that Ahmed had been shot by a sniper in the forehead while filming or taking pictures on top of the buildings around the incident… Ahmed’s camera was the only one which filmed the entire incident from the first moment.”
Assem was on the front lines when intense fighting broke out Monday morning outside the officers’ club, where ousted president Mohammed Morsi was believed to be hiding out. It remains unclear who fired the first shot. The military maintains it fired in self-defense and the Muslim Brotherhood maintains that soldiers opened fire on a peaceful demonstration.
“We were starting morning prayers when we started hearing gunfire,” Mahmoud Fouad, 29, who was wounded on Monday, told ABC News. “They started shooting at us, bullets flying past our head. People were dying in front of me and everyone was getting hit in the back.”
Videos have also surfaced purporting to show Morsi-supporters attacking the army. ABC News is unable to confirm the exact circumstances of Monday’s violence that killed at least 51 and wounded more than 300.
But as the debate continues, the Brotherhood says Assem’s video will be used as evidence that the army is to blame for Monday’s massacre. A portion of the video attributed to Assem but not independently verified by ABC News, was shown at a Brotherhood press conference this week. Elsewhere, on Twitter, the Brotherhood mourned Assem’s death and posted a short video montage of the photographer’s life.