Egypt faces new uncertainty

2013-08-15 09:23
Gallery  |  click on thumbnail to view larger image

Egypt state of emergency

See all the latest from clashes in Egypt where security forces took on pro-Morsi demonstrators. WARNING: Some images are of a graphic nature and may be disturbing.

Cairo - Egypt faced a new phase of uncertainty on Thursday after the bloodiest day since its Arab Spring began, with nearly 300 people reported killed and thousands injured as police smashed two protest camps of supporters of the deposed Islamist president.

Wednesday's raids touched off day-long street violence that prompted the military-backed interim leaders to impose a state of emergency and curfew, and drew widespread condemnation from the Muslim world and the West, including the United States.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei resigned as Egypt's interim vice president in protest — a blow to the new leadership's credibility with the pro-reform movement.

Interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi said in a televised address to the nation that it was a "difficult day" and that he regretted the bloodshed but offered no apologies for moving against the supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, saying they were given ample warnings to leave and he had tried foreign mediation efforts.

The leaders of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood called it a "massacre". Several of them were detained as police swept through the two sit-in sites, scores of other Islamists were taken into custody, and the future of the once-banned movement was uncertain.

Backed by helicopters, police fired tear gas and used armoured bulldozers to plough into the barricades at the two protest camps in different sections of Cairo where the Morsi supporters had been camped since before he was ousted by the military 3 July.

The smaller camp — near Cairo University in Giza — was cleared of protesters relatively quickly, but it took about 12 hours for police to take control of the main sit-in site near the Rabaah al-Adawiya Mosque in Nasr City that has served as the epicenter of the pro-Morsi campaign and had drawn chanting throngs of men, women and children only days earlier.

After the police moved on the camps, street battles broke out in Cairo and other cities across Egypt. Government buildings and police stations were attacked, roads were blocked, and Christian churches were torched, Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim said.

At one point, protesters trapped a police Humvee on an overpass near the Nasr City camp and pushed it off, according to images posted on social networking sites that showed an injured policeman on the ground below, near a pool of blood and the overturned vehicle.

The Health Ministry said 235 civilians were killed and more than 2 000 injured, while Ibrahim said 43 policemen died in the violence. The death toll was expected to rise.

Read more on:    mohammed morsi  |  mohamed el-baradei  |  hazem el-beblawi  |  egypt  |  egypt protests  |  north africa  |  egypt crisis

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.