Clashes escalated near Cairo University in the capital’s Giza district late Tuesday night, where supporters of President Mohamed Morsi continue to demonstrate.
According to the latest health ministry statements, 22 people were killed and at least 200 injured.
Those injured included a police officer – Satea El-Nomany – who was shot in the eye, according to Al-Ahram’s Arabic-language news website.
Security forces have reportedly intervened in an effort to end the clashes.
According to eyewitnesses cited by Reuters, gunshots were heard in the area and police were seen firing tear gas.
Clashes erupted in the area hours before Morsi’s Tuesday night televised address, in which he defied calls to step down, citing his democratic legitimacy.
The military-affiliated Facebook page known as “the Administrator of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces official page” issued a statement in the early hours of Wednesday – titled ‘The Final Hours’ –vowing to “sacrifice lives” to combat terrorists.
“The General Commander of the armed forces has said that it is more honorable for us [the army] to die than for the Egyptian people to feel threatened or terrorized,” the statement read.
“And we swear to God that we will sacrifice our blood for Egypt and its people against every terrorist, extremist or ignorant person,” added the statement.
The declaration came only a few hours after a televised speech by President Mohamed Morsi, in which he defied opposition calls to step down and offered partial concessions to Egypt’s political opposition.