Egypt declares 1 month state of emergency
15 August 2013, 08:29
Cairo - The Egyptian presidency announced a one-month state of emergency across the country on Wednesday and ordered the armed forces to help the Interior Ministry enforce security.
The announcement made on state TV followed countrywide clashes between supporters of deposed President Mohammed Morsi and the security forces.
At least 95 Egyptians were killed on Wednesday after security forces
moved in on protesters demanding the reinstatement of President Mohammed
Troops opened fire on
demonstrators in violence that brought chaos to areas of the capital
and looked certain to further polarise Egypt's 84 million people
between those who backed Morsi and the millions who opposed his brief
the streets around the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in northeast Cairo,
where thousands of Morsi supporters have staged a sit-in for the last
six weeks, riot police wearing gas masks crouched behind armoured
vehicles, tear gas hung in the air and burning tyres sent plumes of
black smoke into the sky.
At a hospital morgue nearby, a Reuters
reporter counted 29 bodies, including that of a 12-year-old boy. Most
had died of gunshot wounds to the head. A nurse at the same hospital
had said she counted 60 bodies, and expected the number to rise.
unrest spread beyond the capital, with the cities of Minya and Assiut,
and Alexandria on the northern coast, also affected. Seventeen people
were killed in the province of Fayoum south of Cairo. Five more died in
Mohamed El-Beltagi, a leader of Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood
movement that led the protests, warned of wider conflict and singled
out the head of the armed forces who deposed Morsi on 3 July following
mass protests that called for his resignation.
"I swear by God
that if you stay in your homes, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will embroil this
country so that it becomes Syria. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will push this
nation to a civil war so that he escapes the gallows."
after the start of the operation, crowds of protesters were still
blocking roads, chanting and waving flags as security forces sought to
prevent them from regrouping.
"At 07:00 they came. Helicopters
from the top and bulldozers from below. They smashed through our walls.
Police and soldiers, they fired tear gas at children," said teacher
Saleh Abdulaziz, 39, clutching a bleeding wound on his head.
"They continued to fire at protesters even when we begged them to stop."
West, notably the United States which gives the Egyptian military $1.3bn each year, has been alarmed by the recent violence in the
strategic Arab ally that has a peace treaty with Israel and controls
the vital Suez Canal waterway.