Deadly clashes continue to plague the Egyptian capital following the removal of President Mohamed Morsi. On Monday, Cairo emergency services confirmed 51 deaths and hundreds of injured civilians after military forces opened fire on Islamist supporters of the ousted leader.

Reuters reports that, so far, army officials and protesters have generally blamed each other, offering conflicting accounts of what sparked the turmoil.

According to protesters, the violence began shortly after Islamist supporters gathered for morning prayers outside the Republican Guard military compound, where the former president is believed to be detained. "They shot us with tear gas, birdshot, rubber bullets — everything. Then they used live bullets," said Abdelaziz Abdel Shakua, a 30-year-old protester who was wounded in his right leg.

However, military spokesman Ahmed Ali told reporters that armed men attacked Egyptian troops stationed near the compound. "The armed forces always deal with issues very wisely, but there is certainly also a limit to patience,” he said at a news conference.

The ousted President Morsi still retains staunch support among Islamist protesters who believe that the military removal of the democratically elected leader should be recognized as a coup. Egyptian army officials reject that label, claiming that the overthrow was the will of the millions who gathered in Tahrir Square last week.

The violence has further imperiled the nation’s current political vacuum. Following the shooting, the ultra-conservative Islamist party Nour immediately announced its withdrawal from talks to form an interim government, calling the incident “the massacre at the Republican Guard.” Earlier on Monday, the party rejected two liberal candidates for prime minister nominated by Adli Mansour mdash; the top constitutional court judge and provisional head of state.

"The party decided the complete withdrawal from political participation in what is known as the road map," officials said.

Morsi became the first democratically elected president in Egypt’s history in 2012, after the Arab Spring revolution ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year autocracy. He struck discord with the public only a few months into his term, when he announced a string of judicial overhauls that would grant him legislative power without proper oversight — a move that reminded millions of the very administration Morsi had been appointed to replace.