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

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs