Egyptian officials say attackers have killed 5 protesters near Defence Ministry in Cairo

Hamza Hendawi, The Associated Press
Associated Press

CAIRO - Egyptian security officials say five protesters have been killed by armed attackers near the Defence Ministry building in Cairo.

They say the attack at dawn Wednesday was carried out by unidentified assailants who set upon several hundred protesters who have camped out in the area for days to call for an end to military rule.

Many of the protesters are supporters of an ultraconservative Islamist who was thrown out of the presidential race because his mother held dual Egyptian-U.S. citizenship in violation of eligibility rules.

The officials say at least 50 protesters were also wounded in the attack, in which the assailants used rocks, clubs and firebombs. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.