News / Middle East

Following Crackdown, Egypt Declares State of Emergency

Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi clash with the Egyptian security forces as the forces clear their sit-in camp in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Aug. 14, 2013.
Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi clash with the Egyptian security forces as the forces clear their sit-in camp in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Aug. 14, 2013.
Edward Yeranian
The Egyptian army says an operation to clear two sit-in protest camps of Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Cairo is almost over, amid conflicting reports on the number of casualties. 

The interim government says 278 people, including 43 policemen, were killed Wednesday.

But a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, which demands ousted President Mohamed Morsi be returned to power, says 2,600 people were killed when police fired into crowds of demonstrators with automatic rifles.

Egypt's interim vice president, pro-reform leader Mohamed ElBaradei, resigned, saying he could not bear responsibility for decisions he "does not agree with and whose consequences" he fears.

Violent clashes spread across Cairo and many parts of Egypt, after government security forces moved to disperse Muslim Brotherhood supporters at two protest camps in the capital.  The two sit-ins began more than 40 days ago, after the army ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

Security forces succeeded quickly in breaking up the second and smaller of the two sit-ins near Cairo University, arresting dozens of people.  Bulldozers cleared bricks and sandbags from the street, as soldiers knocked down tents and set fire to political posters.
 

Egypt's State of Emergency

-Egypt declared a state of emergency (SOE) to restore civil order
-Announced Aug. 14 at 4 p.m. local time via state TV
-SOE to last one month
-Egyptian military forces have wide range of authority without challenge from a second or third party
-May enforce curfews, close institutions, detain anyone at will, keep people in detention as long as they deem necessary and enforce travel restrictions
At the largest sit-in near the Raba'a Adawiya Mosque in northern Cairo, police and army troops fired tear gas and pushed into parts of the sprawling square.  Fires burned inside the camp and clouds of tear gas filled the air.  Several top Muslim Brotherhood leaders were reportedly arrested.

Amid the widening conflict, the leader of Egypt's venerable al-Azhar University, Sheikh Ahmed Tayyeb, urged everyone to avoid violence and political leaders to sit down at the negotiating table.

He said violence will never be a solution to the conflict and urges everyone to use wisdom and common sense to find a political solution.  He adds that he was not informed of the decision to storm the sit-ins.
 
Violence and vandalism also struck other parts of Egypt as Muslim Brotherhood supporters ransacked and burned the provincial governor's office in Alexandria and government headquarters in Fayyoum.  Al-Arabiya TV reported four churches were torched in the south of the country.

A rival Islamist group to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafi Nour Party, urged Egyptians to “stop attacking government buildings and churches.”  The Nour Party has refused to join the interim government, but has criticized the Muslim Brotherhood for not participating in the political process since the ouster of Morsi.

Watch related video by VOA's Elizabeth Arrott:

Egypt Security Moves Against Pro-Morsi Campsi
X
August 14, 2013 2:52 PM
Egyptian security forces have moved against two anti-government encampments in Cairo. The two sides are giving conflicting numbers for casualties, with Muslim Brotherhood officials saying dozens of their supporters have been killed. Egyptian state media say at least five security force members have also died. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott has more from Cairo.

 
A spokesman for the interim government deplored the loss of life and insisted that a road map for a return to democracy, announced at the beginning of July, would go ahead.

He said the government will continue with its political road map, despite the violence, and urges all political forces to participate.

But Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mohamed Beltagy denounced the Egyptian military for what he claimed was a “massacre,” and insisted a “military coup” had “failed.”  Speaking in angry tones, he said his group would continue its protests.

He accused the Egyptian military of killing protesters in cold blood, using snipers on top of buildings and claimed there was no room for the bodies at the hospital.  He called on Egyptian soldiers to mutiny.  Casualty figures he cited varied widely from those being reported.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose party has close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, condemned what he claimed was a “massacre,” and urged the United Nations to investigate.

  • Egyptian security forces detain supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi as they clear a sit-in camp set up near Cairo University in Cairo's Giza district, Egypt, Aug. 14, 2013.
  • A protester comforts a wounded colleague after Egyptian security forces began to clear a sit-in by supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 14, 2013.
  • Egyptian security forces detain protesters as they clear a sit-in by supporters ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 14, 2013.
  • Supporters of Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi chant slogans as they demonstrate in Egypt's northern coastal city of Alexandria, against security forces clearing two pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo. Aug. 14, 2013
  • Turkish supporters of Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi, holding a portrait mocking General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, march during a demonstration condemning the deadly crackdown in Cairo outside the Egyptian embassy in Ankara, Aug. 14, 2013.
  • Egyptian security forces inspect the sit-in camp set up by supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi in Nasr City district, Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 14, 2013.
  • Egyptian security forces clear a sit-in camp set up by supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi in Nasr City district, Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 14, 2013.
  • Supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi speaks to Egyptian security forces as they clear a sit-in camp set up by Morsi supporters near Cairo University in Cairo's Giza district, Egypt, Aug. 14, 2013.
  • Egyptian security forces stand amidst remains of a protest camp by supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi after a crackdown near Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, Aug. 14, 2013.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Tony Bellchambers from: London UK
August 15, 2013 6:32 AM
As Egypt burns and Israel expands its illegal settlements, the threat of a catastrophic war in the Middle East edges ever closer to reality. Once the so-called 'peace talks' have been deliberately aborted by yet further land grabs in the occupied West Bank, and there are more mass killings in Cairo, the scene will be set for a regional conflict that will likely see the entire Middle East in flames with the addition of devastating fallout from Israel's nuclear weapons.

But there will be no winners, just a blackened radiated landscape extending from Libya in the west to Pakistan in the east, covering Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Iran. And the US and AIPAC will express surprise and bewilderment as the delayed radioactive contamination slowly moves across continents to fall, in rain, on crops and land in Europe, Africa and worldwide.

And our world will never be the same again. That is the terrifying reality of today's WMD and their lobbyists.

by: aladdin
August 14, 2013 5:24 PM
Arabs are not ready for democracy.
In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
August 14, 2013 8:57 PM
Arabs are waiting for your inspiration for democracy. you and editor of new York times and the genus at el jazz aria and cnn. please teach them about democracy .they are waiting for you

by: revolutionist from: egypt
August 14, 2013 5:19 PM
even though we are sad for those victims but there have been no other choices after muslims-brotherhood leaders have refused all government efforts to find a fair solution that is acceptable for all conflicting sides.
In Response

by: Sensi
August 15, 2013 8:20 AM
Ah the military junta propagandists, what a funny bunch of nauseous liars.

by: ali baba from: new york
August 14, 2013 4:31 PM
good job.it is painful but necessary
In Response

by: Sensi
August 15, 2013 8:21 AM
Another shameless propagandist for the fascistic military junta, what a disgrace.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 14, 2013 12:01 PM
It can only get this way to find the right way. Egypt needs strong hand to handle it. The Muslim Brotherhood has been looking for an armed struggle in Egypt. Now it is here for them, let's see what they do with it. Already we have seen caches of arms and ammunition in the so-called peaceful demonstration camps. How did the security men die? The Muslim Brotherhood should be prosecuted for any child that dies in the melee. Using innocent children who do not understand what they are used for in the protest is most inhuman. Women who take part in the protests can be treated as felons like their men counterparts, especially when they bring the children along to die undeserved death because of their stupidity.

Now they are turning against the churches and schools. What is the sin of those places of worship and learning in this fracas? Goes to prove the truth that most people in the protests are there because the Brotherhood takes a roll call of everybody in their neighborhood. Anyone absent from the camps becomes target of discrimination and/or witch hunt. Now it is happening to the Christians whose absence from the camps is unmistakable. The army started well and cannot afford to go back as that will be suicidal, not only to the military and interim government families, but much more to the minorities, the moderates, the liberals and the Christians who will become less than ordinary rag if the brotherhood ventures near power again.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regreti
X
Zana Omer
March 28, 2015 1:19 AM
Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Virginia Tavern Takes Patrons Back to Medieval Times

European martial arts are not widely practiced and are unknown by most people. A tavern in Old Town Alexandria, outside Washington, wants to change this by promoting these fighting techniques from medieval times. Through combining visual arts, martial arts and culinary arts, this tavern brings medieval history back to life. VOA's Yang Lin and Helen Wu report.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More