Thursday, August 15, 2013

Egypt wakes to its first morning under state of emergency after violence leaves ... - The Independent

The Egyptian people spent their first night under curfew as a month-long state of emergency was declared across the country, following violent scenes that left hundreds dead and many more seriously injured.

As the 7pm local time to 6am curfew ended, Egypts' Muslim Brotherhood vowed to bring down the "military coup" whilst remaining committed to peaceful activism after security officials cleared protest camps filled with supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.

At the site of one Cairo sit-in, garbage collectors cleared still-smouldering piles of burnt tents on Thursday. Soldiers dismantled the stage at the heart of the protest camp. A burnt out armoured vehicle stood abandoned in the street.

Yesterday's bloodshed ensued after Egypt's military led interim government forcibly broke up the Rabaa al-Adawiya camp in northeast Cairo and another camp near Cairo University on Thursday, opening fire at crowds of protesters.

Hundreds of people died in the crackdown and nationwide clashes ensued.

Interim Vice President and Nobel laureate Mohamed el-Baradei resigned in protest over the events now widely referred to as a massacre. In a statement announcing his resignation, he said: "I cannot continue in shouldering the responsibility for decisions I do not agree with and I fear their consequences. I cannot shoulder the responsibility for a single drop of blood."

Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad took to Twitter to vow that their Islamist organisation would remain "non-violent and peaceful." "We remain strong, defiant and resolved," said. "We will push (forward) until we bring down this military coup."

Traffic has now started flowing back through the area of Cairo where supporters of the deposed president set up a protest camp at the heart of a power struggle between Islamists and the army-backed government, according to a Reuters witness.

15 August 2013: An Egyptian woman tries to stop a military bulldozer from hurting a wounded youth during clashes that broke out as Egyptian security forces moved in to disperse supporters of Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Morsi in a huge protest camp near Rabaa al-Adawiya15 August 2013: An Egyptian woman tries to stop a military bulldozer from hurting a wounded youth during clashes that broke out as Egyptian security forces moved in to disperse supporters of Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Morsi in a huge protest camp near Rabaa al-Adawiya  

Official reports from Egypt's Health Ministry state 421 civilians were killed, along with 43 police officers. They say at least 2,900 were injured. The Muslim Brotherhood however argues that the death toll is much higher at 2000.

A protester comforts a wounded colleague after Egyptian security forces began to clear a sit-in by supporters of Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of CairoA protester comforts a wounded colleague after Egyptian security forces began to clear a sit-in by supporters of Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo  

The military's violent measures were widely condemned across the globe, with US Secretary of State John Kerry describing the army's action as "a serious blow" to all reconciliation efforts, and Prime Minister David Cameron stressing that the violence is "not going to solve anything".  


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