'The victory will come with my wounds'
Limping heavily and with blood seeping from an open face wound, Hassan Ahmed bore the scars of a front-line warrior in the campaign to restore the rule of Mohammed Morsi.
But for the vast gathering of Muslim Brotherhood supporters outside the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo's Nasr City district, he quickly acquired the status of a conquering hero, as he hobbled – his shirt stained in his own blood – from a neighbouring hospital, where he had been treated for his wounds.
Mr Ahmed (34) was among a crowd of Brotherhood supporters who came under fire after they marched on the Egyptian army's Republican Guard headquarters, where Mr Morsi is believed to be held.
Amid chaotic scenes as panicking demonstrators tried to seek cover from the gunfire, the construction worker from Alexandria suffered multiple wounds to his face, arm, chest, stomach and legs after being shot with what appeared to be a pellet gun.
Others were less fortunate. "I saw two people dying in front of my eyes and many others lying injured," Mr Ahmed told the 'Daily Telegraph'.
"When the shooting started, everyone took some steps back to catch their breath. The shooting was done by a lot of guards. They were definitely military people."
Mr Ahmed was insouciant about his injuries. "The victory will come with my blood," he said.
Hospital officials said three people had died in the incident.
If the perpetrators thought their actions would deter further protests, they apparently had not reckoned with the resolve of the likes of Mr Ahmed.
He insisted that he would return to the presumed scene of Mr Morsi's incarceration at the earliest opportunity. As he made his way through the vast throngs around Rabaa al-Adiwiya mosque, Mr Ahmed assumed cult status as men heartily shook his hand.
Overhead, several Apache helicopters hovered and 10 fighter jets flew low to convey a menacing message.
The moves were greeted with chants of "Allahu akbar" and "Morsi, Morsi".
"Have you seen that the army are using American weapons to fire at Egyptians?" said Atef Hashish (39). "We are demonstrating peacefully. So why should they shoot at us just because they don't agree with us?"