Violent clashes broke out with Muslim Brotherhood supporters and government security forces in Egypt have left scores dead and wounded on both sides. A month long state of emergency and a curfew has been declared.
CAIRO – Egypt descended into a chaotic bloodbath – and another political crisis – Wednesday after security forces backed by bulldozers moved into opposition protest camps set up by supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi, sparking deadly violence.
At least 149 people were killed and 1,403 injured, the country’s health ministry said, but the toll looked certain to rise as unrest spread from Cairo to other parts of the country.
It is being reporting that interim Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei has resigned in protest over the crack down by the military and that at least two journalists have been killed.
Here is The Guardian‘s quick summary of events since last might:
• Scores of people have been killed after the Egyptian security forces moved to clear two protest camps in Cairo. Egypt’s official news agency put the death toll at 149, although the chaotic nature of the crackdown made accurate reporting difficult. Violence began after security forces used bulldozers to dismantle camps established by supporters of the ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.
• Troops fired teargas and live rounds, quickly evacuating the smaller camp near Cairo University. But Morsi supporters held strong at the larger encampment, at the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in east Cairo. The dawn raids came after two weeks of warnings to protesters to evacuate.
• The Egyptian interim government has declared a month-long state of emergency across the country. It later announced a curfew, beginning this evening at 7pm local time and lasting until 6am. The curfew is in place in Cairo and ten other provinces including Alexandria and Suez, the government said. It will last for one month.
• Egypt’s vice-president, Mohamed El-Baradei, resigned in protest against the crackdown. He said there were peaceful options for ending the political crisis. Witnesses at Rabaa al-Adawiya dozens of bodies, while photographs showed more than 40 dead laid out on the ground. There were reports of snipers firing on crowds of people. The interior ministry denied live rounds had been used despite the casualties. Two journalists, including a British cameraman for Sky News, were among the dead.
• The international community has denounced the violence. The US said it “strongly condemns the use of violence against protesters” and criticised the imposition of a state of emergency. UK foreign secretary William Hague said he was “deeply concerned at the escalating violence”. “I condemn the use of force in clearing protests and call on the security forces to act with restraint,” he said.
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