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

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

Nigerians Await New President With High Hopes

When pomp and circumstance of inauguration end in Abuja, Buhari will sit down to the hard task of governing Nigeria More

India's Restrictions on Several NGOs Raise Concerns

Political analysts link recent clampdown on advocacy groups to report last year that said foreign-funded NGO’s negatively impact economic development 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.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs