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Bloodshed in Egypt

Deadliest single outbreak of violence since Morsi ousted

Posted: July 27, 2013 10:26 p.m.
Updated: July 27, 2013 10:26 p.m.

An Egyptian man sits beside his comrade, a supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi, injured during clashes with security forces at Nasr City.

 

CAIRO (AP) — Security forces and armed men clashed with supporters of Egypt’s ousted president early Saturday, killing at least 65 people in mayhem that underscored an increasingly heavy hand against protests demanding Mohammed Morsi’s return to office.

In chaotic scenes, pools of blood stained the floor and bodies were lined up under white sheets in a makeshift hospital near the site of the battles in eastern Cairo. Doctors struggled to cope with the flood of dozens of wounded, many with gunshots to the head or chest.

It was the deadliest single outbreak of violence since the military ousted Morsi on July 3 and one of the deadliest in 2 ½ years of turmoil in Egypt. It was not immediately clear if all the 65 killed were all protesters or if residents who joined the fight against the march were among the dead. The Brotherhood said that 66 Morsi supporters were killed in the Cairo violence.

The extent of the bloodshed pointed to a rapidly building confrontation between the country’s two camps, sharply divided over the coup that removed Egypt’s first freely elected president after widespread protests against his rule.
Authorities talk more boldly of making a move to end weeks of protests by Morsi’s largely Islamist supporters. At the same time, the Islamists are growing more assertive in challenging security forces as they try to win public backing for their cause.

Saturday’s clashes were sparked when pro-Morsi protesters sought to expand their main Cairo sit-in camp by moving onto a nearby main boulevard, only to be confronted by police and armed civilians — reportedly residents of nearby neighborhoods. Police initially fired tear gas but in ensuing clashes, the protesters came under gunfire.

 

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