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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Egypt declares state of emergency. Announcement comes amid security crackdown on pro-Morsi protesters which left at least 295 people dead nationwide.



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A state of emergency has been declared across Egypt, according to a presidential statement announced on state television.
The state of emergency will begin at 4pm local time (14:00 GMT) and will last for a month, the statement said on Wednesday afternoon.
The exceptional measures came as "the security and order of the nation face danger due to deliberate sabotage, and attacks on public and private buildings and the loss of life by extremist groups," the presidency said.

Interim president Adly Mansour "has tasked the armed forces, in cooperation with the police, to take all necessary measures to maintain security and order and to protect public and private property and the lives of citizens."
The announcement came amid a deadly crackdown by security forces on two Cairo protest camps set up by supporters of Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi.
Conflicting reports have emerged over the number of people killed on Wednesday.
The Health Ministry said 95 people were killed in clashes that happened nationwide, with another 974 injured.

However, some members of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood said the death toll was as high as 2,200, with about 10,000 injured.
Al Jazeera could not independently verify the Brotherhood's figure.
Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros, reporting from Cairo, said the military has now been given "a mandate by cabinet to play an active role in the crackdown, if the situation escalates, and we have seen that the situation has escalated."
"It is a very worrying situation, and the state of emergency only serves to highlight the very precarious situation."
The Interior Ministry said 543 pro-Morsi supporters were arrested nationwide, in incidents related to dispersing the sit-ins of Rabaa and Nahda. The arrests were made for possession of arms including automatic weapons, and large amounts of ammunition.

Journalists killed
Ammar Beltagi, the son of Mohammad Beltagi, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice party, told Al Jazeera his 17-year-old sister, Asmaa, was shot and killed in the Rabaa al-Adawiya sit-in in Nasr City.
Two journalists were also killed while covering the violence. Mick Deane, a cameraman for the UK-based Sky News channel, and Habiba Abd Elaziz, a reporter for the UAE-based Xpress newspaper, died from gunshot wounds.
Live footage from Cairo on Wednesday morning showed smoke engulfing Nahda Square, the smaller of the two sit-ins based in Giza, amid reports of tear gas and birdshots being used on supporters of the deposed president.
By mid-morning, the Interior Ministry said security forces had "total control" over Nahda Square, and that "police forces had managed to remove most of the tents" in the area. Security forces had blocked all access to the protest camp.
In an afternoon press conference, the cabinet media adviser thanked the security forces for "exercising self-control and high-level professionalism in dispersing the sit-ins," and held the Muslim Brotherhood responsible for "escalation and violence".
Witnesses said that after firing tear gas into the Rabaa al-Adawiya sit-in, pandemonium struck among the thousands of protesters who had set up camp there soon after Morsi was ousted by the army on July 3.

Automatic fire
Protesters have camped in Cairo demanding the reinstatement of Morsi, who was country's first democratically elected president and his Freedom and Justice Party was the largest political group in the now dissolved parliament.
Clashes quickly erupted between protesters and security forces on one side of the camp, with automatic fire reverberating across the square. It was not immediately clear who was shooting.

Television footage showed the injured being carried to a makeshift medical centre as well as police dragging away protesters, who had defied numerous ultimatums by the army-installed authorities to end their demonstrations.
Police barred journalists not already in the camp from entering.
In response to the security operation, the Muslim Brotherhood urged Egyptians to take to the streets across the country to "stop a massacre".
Al Jazeera's D. Parvaz, reporting from a makeshift hospital near the Rabaa sit-in, said that the people in the area will not be deterred. "No one is willing to give up, and they've said that the gunshots are not going to scare them".
She said the hospital, which has been set up in the entrance of a local mosque, has been receiving a steady stream of wounded people.
“They are bringing in a steady stream of gunshot victims, of all ages, with wounds everywhere."
“At least four people have died from their wounds in the period I’ve been here.”
 http://www.aljazeera.com
14/8/13 
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