World News‎ > ‎

Cairo Clears Up After Day Of Carnage

posted 15 Aug 2013, 03:21 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 15 Aug 2013, 03:26 ]

Egyptian authorities clear remains of a sit-in by Mursi's supporters in Cairo's Nasr City neighbourhood after Wednesday's deadly army raids on Mursi supporters as death toll climbs to 421.

CAIROEGYPT (AUGUST 15, 2013)(REUTERS) -  The death toll from political violence in Egypt has climbed to 421, the health ministry said on Thursday.

The nation-wide violence erupted on Wednesday after security forces broke upCairo protest camps set up by supporters of deposed President Mohamed Mursi.

The Muslim Brotherhood said on Thursday (August 15) it would bring down the "military coup" but stressed it remained committed to a peaceful struggle, despite the heavy loss of life when government forces broke up its protest camps.

The crackdown on Wednesday defied Western appeals for restraint and a peaceful, negotiated settlement to Egypt's political crisis following the military's removal ofIslamist President Mohamed Mursi last month, prompting international statements of dismay and condemnation.

Security forces struggled to clamp a lid on Egypt after the worst nation-wide bloodshed in decades, although a curfew largely held in Cairo overnight.

Islamists clashed with police and troops who used bulldozers, teargas and live fire on Wednesday to clear out two Cairo sit-ins that had become a hub of Muslim Brotherhood resistance to the military after it deposed Mursi on July 3.

The clashes spread quickly, and a health ministry official said about 300 people were killed and more than 2,000 injured in fighting in Cairo, Alexandria and numerous towns and cities around the mostly Muslim nation of 84 million.

"I pray to God almighty to stop the bloodshed, we don't want anything more than what we have seen here. We want Egypt to live in security and stability. That is the most important thing for us, because if Egypt is safe we will all be safe. For forty days I have had to struggle to my work. I go to five or six bus stops every day. I hope to God that this situation is resolved. And God stop the bloodshed for everyone," local resident, Ali Sheemi said.

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

The Muslim Brotherhood said the true death toll was far higher, with a spokesman saying 2,000 people had been killed in a "massacre". It was impossible to verify the figures independently given the extent of the violence.

The military-installed government declared a month-long state of emergency and imposed the dusk-to-dawn curfew on Cairo and 10 other provinces, restoring to thearmy powers of arrest and indefinite detention it held for decades until the fall of autocrat Hosni Mubarak in a 2011 popular uprising.