Deaths in Cairo street clashes as Egypt moves to clear protests
on 14/08/2013 11:31:56
A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi shows his hand as supporters clash with the Egyptian security forces in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo.
Egyptian security forces have moved with deadly force to clear two sit-in camps of supporters of the country's ousted president Mohammed Morsi, leading to wildly differing claims about the death toll.
At least three members of the security forces were confirmed to have died in the crackdown in Cairo, while the Health Ministry said nine protesters were killed and over 80 were injured.
The political arm of Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood claimed that more than 500 protesters were killed and 9,000 wounded in the two camps on opposite ends of the city, but there was no official confirmation of the figures or anything in footage from local TV networks that suggests such a high figure.
Egyptian security forces detain protesters.
Mohammed el-Beltagy, a senior Brotherhood leader, put the deaths at more than 300 and called on the police and army troops to mutiny against their commanders and on Egyptians to take to the streets to show their disapproval of the raids.
The smaller of the two camps was cleared of protesters by late morning, with most of them taking refuge in the nearby Orman botanical gardens, inside the sprawling campus of Cairo University and the zoo.
Security forces stormed the larger camp in the eastern Cairo district of Nasr City and were closing in on a mosque that has served as the centre of vigil. Several leaders of Morsi's Brotherhood are thought to have been staying inside the mosque.
Two protestors lie dead on the ground as another lies injured.
The attacks on the two pro-Morsi camps are the latest chapter in the turmoil that has rocked Egypt since the 2011 overthrow of Hosni Mubarak and are likely to deepen the nation's division between the camp of Islamists led by the Muslim Brotherhood on one side, and secularists, liberals, moderate Muslims and minority Christians on the other.
The pro-Morsi Anti-Coup alliance claimed that security forces used live ammunition, but the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of the police, said its forces only used tear gas and that they came under fire from the camp.
The Interior Ministry statement also warned that forces would deal firmly with protesters who were acting "irresponsibly," suggesting that it would respond in kind if its men are fired upon. It said it would guarantee safe passage to all who want to leave the Nasr City site but would arrest those wanted for questioning by prosecutors.
Egyptian security forces clear a sit-in camp set up by supporters with bulldozers.
Police also fired tear gas elsewhere in Cairo to disperse Morsi supporters who wanted to join the Nasr City camp after it came under attack.
In the city of Bani Suef south of Cairo, protesters set three police cars on fire. Farther south in the city of Assiut, a stronghold of Islamists, police used tear gas to disperse thousands of Morsi supporters gathered in the city center.
Army troops did not take part in the two operations, but provided security at the locations. Police and army helicopters hovered over both sites as plumes of smoke rose over the city skyline hours after the police launched the simultaneous actions shortly after 7am local time.
Fires burn in Cairo's streets.
At least 250 people have died in clashes in Egypt following Mr Morsi's removal in a military coup on July 3 that followed days of mass protests by millions of Egyptians calling for his removal.
Supporters of the Islamist president want him reinstated and are boycotting the military-sponsored political process which includes amending the Islamist-backed constitution adopted last year and holding parliamentary and presidential elections early next year.