Following the escalating wave of protests that have rocked the country since the July 3 removal of President Mohammed Morsi, the Egyptian Government declared a month-long state of emergency beginning from 4 pm on Wednesday. As part of the state of emergency, a night time curfew has been imposed on Cairo and ten other provinces.
Pro Morsi demonstrators, especially members of the Muslim Brotherhood have occupied major squares in the country’s capital, Cairo. The military on Wednesday clamped down on the protesters and broke up the camps they set up using bulldozers and armoured vehicles while tear gas canisters were fired to disperse the protesters. The destruction of the camps sparked up violence as some of the protesters refused to leave. Some of the protesters lost their lives in the process.
Outside Cairo, members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been accused of attacking churches in Sohag, while a police van was also set ablaze. While the Egyptian National TV reported that 56 lives were lost in the crisis, the Muslim Brotherhood claims more than 200 of its members have been killed.
Egypt’s Interior Ministry claimed that security forces did not fire on protesters, rather the Ministry stated that terrorist elements from within the camps attacked security agents.
Members of anti-Morsi movements also claimed that some members of the Muslim Brotherhood had guns and shot at civilians and policemen.
Meanwhile, the Interim Vice President, Mohammed El Baradei resigned from the cabinet shortly after the declaration of the state of emergency. He resigned in protest against the violent clearing of pro-Morsi camps.