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Muslim Brotherhood Calls for New Protests After Massacre by State Forces
Egypt’s political crisis is growing after the country’s deadliest violence since the Egyptian revolution broke out in 2011. At least 525 people were killed and more than 3,500 people wounded on Wednesday in government raids on protest encampments filled with supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo. Police and troops used bulldozers, tear gas and live ammunition to clear out the two sit-ins. Makeshift clinics were overrun with the dead and wounded. Members of the Muslim Brotherhood responded by storming and torching police stations. Forty-three police officers were reportedly killed. Three journalists also died in Wednesday’s violence. Egypt’s army-installed government has declared a month-long state of emergency and imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on the capital of Cairo and 10 other provinces. The move came shortly after it installed 25 provincial governors, including 19 military generals and two loyalists of ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak. Interim Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace laureate, resigned hours after Wednesday’s crackdown began, saying the conflict could have been resolved by peaceful means. The Muslim Brotherhood has called for new rallies in Cairo today. Mohamed el-Beltagy, a senior Muslim Brotherhood leader who lost his daughter in Wednesday’s violence, urged supporters to protest Egypt’s military.
Mohamed el-Beltagy: “I swear to God that if people don’t keep protesting, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will just drag this country into more troubles. He will drag this nation into a civil war, so he can escape the death penalty. Be aware, Egyptian people, and go onto the streets now to announce the end of the armed forces’ political life.”
U.S. Calls Egypt Killings “Deplorable,” But No Policy Shift Announced
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In Washington, Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the violence, but the Obama administration announced no moves to cut aid to the Egyptian military.
Secretary of State John Kerry: “Today’s events are deplorable, and they run counter to Egyptian aspirations for peace, inclusion and genuine democracy. Egyptians inside and outside of the government need to take a step back. They need to calm the situation and avoid further loss of life. We also strongly oppose a return to a state of emergency law, and we call on the government to respect basic human rights including freedom of peaceful assembly and due process under the law.”