Hundreds Killed In Overnight Cairo "Massacre" As 30 Million Take To The Streets
Nearly a month after the Egyptian military coup (that wasn't a coup according to the US), the celebrations over the democratic overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood's president Morsi (according to John Kerry) continue with hundreds of protesters killed and injured in the latest overnight violent breakout. The reports are obviously conflicting with the Muslim Brotherhood claiming 120 were killed in violent protests with police near Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque, describing events as a "massacre", alternatively the government's Ministry of Health says only 38 dead arrived at hospitals so far. The tragic deaths were a logical outcome of protests which according to the head of Egypt's Central Statistics Bureau General Abu Bahar Jundi, saw as many as 35 million people taking to the streets Friday on both sides of the ideological divide. Egyptian army officials put the number at around 30 million.
With the army opposition facing an imminent political crackdown on rallies and protests, even as public sentiment is about as polarized as the US Congress, it is unlikely that the country which is merely the latest indicator of "successful" US foreign policy will return to a peaceful state any time soon and those tens of millions will disperse.
From Egypt's Ahram Online:
Violent overnight clashes have killed dozens in the vicinity of a sit-in by supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo's Nasr City.
In the afternoon, the scene in front of the Memorial of the Unknown Soldier on Nasr Road, where clashes had taken place early on Saturday morning, was calm. Army soldiers cleaned the streets while some protesters mourned the dead, reported Ahram Online's Randa Ali.
Earlier on Saturday morning, police had continued to fire teargas in the vicinty as scuffles were still ongoing with supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi from the sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque, while hundreds of protesters pelted stones at security forces and set fire to tires near barbed wire baracades that police set up to prevent protesters from advancing.
Violence erupted in the early hours of Saturday at the Memorial of the Unknown Soldier when police clashed with pro-Morsi protesters seeking to block the nearby 6 October Bridge.
Interior ministry spokesman Hani Abdel-Latif said in on Saturday afternoon that protesters had started to block traffic, then "clashed with residents of the nearby [working class] Mansheyet Nasr district using live fire and birdshot, and this killed 21 people."
"The police moved to stop the clashes between the two groups and opened the road again," he added. Interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim also reiterated that the police had only used teargas in the clashes.
Egypt's health ministry on Saturday morning announced that 28 dead had arrived at public hospitals, while 177 injuries had been recorded. In the afternoon, the ministry reported that 38 dead and 239 people injured had been recorded. Brotherhood figures have said the number of dead stands at at least 120.
Ahram Online spoke to Omar Hasheesh, a doctor at the sit-in's field hospital who had been on duty during the clashes. He said that at least 55 people had been killed, and that most of those were already dead or close to death by the time they reached the field hospital. Most of those killed, according to the doctor, died from live ammunition injuries to the head and stomach.
A security source told MENA earlier that the police did not use live fire against protesters and said they only used teargas to disperse the crowds.
Meanwhile, the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, a pro-Morsi coalition of mainly Islamist parties led by the Muslim Brotherhood, issued a statement describing what happened as a "massacre."
The primary reason for the slaughter was the use of simple people as pawns to once again promote political ideas of the few: a recurring idea in history.
The Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, organised mass protests Friday in an attempt to counterbalance mass demonstrations called for by army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, aimed at providing the army and the police with "mandate to deal with violence and potential terrorism."
Responding to El-Sisi's call, millions hit the streets across the country Friday, chanting against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood and in support of the Egyptian army.
Morsi supporters and opponents have frequently faced off since his overthrow, leaving at least 100 dead and hundreds injured in the past few weeks. Both camps have used firearms, among other weapons, against each other on many occasions.
What the locals really think via Ynetnews:
"I'm staying home all day, it's too dangerous to work. I didn't think things in Egypt could get this bad, but every day you hear about clashes and deaths," said Shadi Mohamed, a 22-year-old taxi driver. "Egypt is a disaster."
Unfortunately, it will get worse before it gets better:
The army has threatened to "turn its guns" on those who use violence, while the Brotherhood has warned of civil war, denying suggestions it was provoking troubles.
Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, however, said on Thursday the Obama administration did not intend to rule on whether Morsi's overthrow constituted a coup, wording that would have triggered the cutoff of US aid.
Witnesses said army helicopters had dropped flyers at the pro-Morsi vigil calling on people to refrain from violence. The Brotherhood says it is the authorities themselves who have stirred up violence to justify a looming crackdown.
Photographic and video evidence of just what US foreign intervention for the promotion of democracy (and other national interests) leaves in its wake.
Army clashes with Morsi supporters (Photo: Reuters)
Street barricades in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
Street clashes (Photo: Reuters)
Tear gas (Photo: Reuters)
Coup supporters (Photo: AFP)
Finally, documentary videos from Al Jazeera
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