News / Middle East

Tense Calm in Egypt Under State of Emergency

  • A member of the Egyptian security forces speaks to a woman holding a stick as they clear a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, at the smaller of the two camps, near the Cairo University campus in Giza, Cairo, Egypt, August 14, 2014.
  • Supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi surround a burning police car during clashes with Egyptian security forces in Cairo's Mohandessin neighborhood, Egypt,  August 14, 2013. 
  • Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans against Egyptian Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi during clashes with Egyptian security forces in Cairo's Mohandessin neighborhood, Egypt, August 14, 2013. 
  • A police vehicle is pushed off of the 6th of October bridge by protesters close to the largest sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Egypt,  August 14, 2013.
  • A member of the Egyptian security forces holds up a copy of the Quran as clear they clear the smaller of the two sit-ins by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, near the Cairo University campus in Giza, Cairo, Egypt, August 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, Egypt, August 14, 2013. 
  • Makeshift wooden huts burn at a sit-in camp set up by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi as Egyptian security forces clear the camp near Cairo University in Cairo's Giza district, Egypt, August 14, 2013. 
  • Supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi carry another as Egyptian security forces clear a sit-in camp set up near Cairo University in Cairo's Giza district, Egypt, August 14, 2013. 
  • A protester comes to the aid of a wounded comrade as security forces clear a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Egypt, August 14, 2013. 
  • Supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, stand among debris and smoke in background as they confront Egyptian security forces trying to clear the smaller of the two sit-ins, near the Cairo University campus in Giza, Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday,
  • Egyptian security forces clear a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Egypt,  August 14, 2013. 
  • Protesters throw stones at Egyptian security forces trying to clear a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Egypt,  August 14, 2013. 
  • Egyptian security forces detain protesters as they clear a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Egypt, August 14, 2013. 
  • A wounded protester lies on the ground as Egyptian security forces clear the smaller of the two sit-ins by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, near the Cairo University campus in Giza, Cairo, Egypt, August 14, 2013.
  • A lightly wounded member of the Egyptian security forces talks with other officers as they clear sit-ins by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, near the Cairo University campus in Giza, Cairo, Egypt, August 14, 2013.
  • Fires burn as Egyptian security forces clear a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Egypt,  Aug. 14, 2013. 
Heavy Casualties Reported in Egypt
VOA News
A tense calm remained in Egypt early Thursday after a government-imposed, overnight curfew to restore order in a country shaken by clashes that left hundreds dead.

The curfew is part of a month-long state of emergency Egypt's interim leaders ordered Wednesday in the aftermath of clashes that began when security forces broke up a pair of protest camps in Cairo.

The government says that violence along with fighting in Alexandria, Minya, Assiut and Suez killed 278 people, including 43 policemen.

Authorities had warned for days they would move against the protest camps, where demonstrators led by the Muslim Brotherhood rallied against Egypt's military and its ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.

A Muslim Brotherhood spokesman posted a dramatically higher death toll Thursday, saying more than 4,500 people had been killed.

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim defended the actions of security forces, saying they used minimum force against the camps and only fired tear gas. He blamed the Brotherhood for creating what he called a state of mayhem across the country by shooting at police, attacking government buildings and burning churches.

Ibrahim says the interim government is heeding the call of the people to bring stability back to Egypt.

Pro-reform leader Mohamed ElBaradei resigned his post as interim vice president following Wednesday's violence. He said he is not prepared to be held responsible for even "a single drop of blood."

Egypt's railway authority has suspended train service in and out of Cairo to keep activists from regrouping elsewhere.

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