|Editor's Comment: While acknowledging the brutal attack by the Egyptian police and military on Wednesday killing at least 525 protestors and wounding over 3700, much of the corporate media around the world show sympathy for the police and military. They also do their best to blame the protestors for the horrific attack and portray the protests against the Egyptian government as a conflict between Morsi supporters and opposition members.
- Les Blough, Editor
Axis of Logic
News AU/Associated Press
Bloodbath in Cairo, Egypt, leaves 525 people dead, including Sky News cameraman Mick Deane, VP Mohamed ElBaradei resigns
Egypt declared a state of emergency
Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei resigns
of the Egyptian army walk among the smoldering remains of the largest
protest camp of supporters of ousted President Mohammed Mors. Picture:
AP Photo/Ahmed Gomaa
AN AUSTRALIAN tourist said he was beaten and arrested for filming an official shooting at Egyptian protesters, the ABC reports.
remains under a tense state of emergency after its bloodiest day since
the Arab Spring began, with protest camps smashed and at least 525 are
thought to have died in the violence that erupted yesterday.
death toll, which stood at 525, according to the latest Health Ministry
figures, makes Wednesday by far the deadliest day since the 2011 popular
uprising that toppled longtime ruler and autocrat Hosni Mubarak - a
grim milestone that does not bode well for the future of a nation roiled
in turmoil and divisions for the past two years.
Health Ministry spokesman Khaled el-Khateeb put the number of the injured on Wednesday at 3,717.
the site of one of the smashed encampments of ousted President Mohammed
Morsi's supporters in the eastern Nasr City suburb, an Associated Press
reporter on Thursday saw dozens of blood soaked bodies stored inside a
mosque. The bodies were wrapped in sheets and still unclaimed by
Relatives at the scene were uncovering the faces in an
attempt to identify their loved ones. Many complained that authorities
were preventing them from obtaining permits to bury them.
said 202 of the 525 were killed in the Nasr City protest camp, but it
was not immediately clear whether the bodies at the mosque were included
in that figure.
state television shows Egypt's interim prime minister Hazem al-Beblawi
addressing the nation in Cairo after the violent clashes erupted.
ONE AUSSIE'S ORDEAL
Dylan Bradbury, 24, told the ABC's The World Today program he was
staying in a Cairo hotel when he heard demonstrations followed by
"I saw the gunshots going off and people hiding behind
walls and stuff and I thought, 'oh wow, you know, I wanna take some
He captured footage of a uniformed official shooting down a laneway when police saw him recording.
Bradbury said he was dragged into the middle of the chaos and had his
friend's phone taken from him. He then was taken to a police station, he
said, where alleges he was assaulted.
"I was walking up the stairs (when) a guy kicked me in the chest."
walk among the burned remains of the Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, in the
center of the largest protest camp of supporters of ousted President
Mohammed Morsi. Picture: AP Photo/Ahmed Gomaa
BROTHERHOOD CALLS FOR CAIRO MARCH
Muslim Brotherhood called for a march in Cairo today, a day after
bloody crackdown on its supporters who occupied protest camps demanding
the reinstatement of president Mohamed Morsi.
The Brotherhood said
the planned march would set off from the Al-Iman mosque in the capital
"to protest the death of their relatives".
GAZA BORDER CROSSING CLOSED INDEFINITELY
authorities have closed the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip
"indefinitely" for security reasons after a day of deadly violence
nationwide," a security official told AFP today.
Palestinian travellers were left stranded on both sides of the crossing,
the only gateway into the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory that
bypasses Israel, witnesses said.
The measure follows widespread
unrest in Egypt after a bloody crackdown by security forces on
loyalists of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
NEWSPAPERS AROUND THE WORLD CONDEMN THE VIOLENCE
US newspapers today have condemned the crackdown on supporters of ousted
Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in Egypt, and urged Washington to act
to push both sides towards reconciliation.
|British broadcaster Sky News released this
image of their cameraman Mick Deane who was shot and wounded and later
died after covering the violent breakup of protest camps in Cairo.
Picture: AP Photo/Sky New
The Times in London
described the assault in Cairo, as a "massacre" and warned the
legitimacy of Egypt's interim regime "hangs by a thread".
was a massacre. The (Muslim) Brotherhood has not been blameless in the
period of simmering anarchy since its removal from power, but
yesterday's operation was out of all proportion to any provocation," the
newspaper said in an editorial.
"It will almost certainly prove self-defeating."
urged Washington to act, suggesting it delay the shipment of F16
fighters and withhold extra funds promised last year for civilian uses,
saying that "quiet acquiescence will be interpreted across the Muslim
world as tacit support".
The New York Times went further, calling
on President Barack Obama to suspend the $1.3 billion in annual US aid
to the Egyptian military, saying the latest bloodbath in Cairo risked
sparking civil war.
"Egypt's ruling generals have demonstrated
beyond any lingering doubt that they have no aptitude for, and
apparently little interest in, guiding their country back to democracy,"
the paper said in an editorial.
editorial entitled "Egypt's democracy dies a violent death", the
Financial Times said it too had lost faith in the military-backed
government's willingness and ability to guide the country towards
However, it also laid blame on Morsi's Muslim
Brotherhood, who "have refused every offer of negotiation", and urged
Turkey and Qatar to step up efforts to pressure the movement into
finding a political solution to the crisis.
In France, Le Monde
said the crackdown and the imposition of a state of emergency was a
"terrible step backwards"."It negates everything that has been achieved
since the revolution in January 2011," which had ousted longtime ruler
In Germany, the Berliner Zeitung daily said the brutality
of the Egyptian police and military "seems to confirm the worst fears"
that the army-backed government "in no way aims for a fresh democratic
The Economist magazine added: "The scale of the unrest and the depth of the country's wounds are a grim omen for the future."
TURKEY PRESSES SECURITY COUNCIL TO ACT
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for an urgent UN
Security Council meeting over Egypt's bloody crackdown on supporters of
ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, which has left hundreds dead.
Security Council of the United Nations should convene quickly to
discuss the situation in Egypt," Erdogan told reporters in Ankara.
is a very serious massacre... against the Egyptian people who were only
protesting peacefully," he added, criticising "the silence'' of the
global community in the face of the bloodshed.
|Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi run from Egyptian security forces firing towards them during clashes in Cairo's Nasr City district. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)
day of violence on Wednesday, triggered when security forces moved in
to break up pro-Morsi protest camps, was the worst since the 2011
uprising that ousted president Hosni Mubarak.
STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED
emerged today from an all-night curfew imposed after the worst violence
since their 2011 uprising, with 464 people killed as security forces
broke up protests supporting ousted president Mohamed Morsi.
army-backed interim government imposed a month-long nationwide state of
emergency, and curfews in Cairo and 13 other provinces.
after the curfew ended on Thursday morning, light traffic began
returning to Cairo's streets, with roads blocked for weeks by the
pro-Morsi protests now reopened.
Yesterday crushed, dazed and
chanting "Down, down with military rule!" hundreds of supporters of
Egypt's ousted president streamed out of a protest camp that had come to
symbolize the resistance of Arab Spring Islamists.
It now resembled a war zone - covered in debris, with thick black smoke billowing skyward.
|A supporter of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi holds onto an Egyptian security force as they clear a sit-in camp set up near Cairo University in Cairo's Giza district. Picture: AP Hussein Tallal
helplessly on the ground, exhausted by hours of inhaling tear gas, they
pondered their next move as Egypt's bloodiest day in years came to an
At one point, protesters trapped a police Humvee on an
overpass near the Nasr City camp and pushed it off, according to images
posted on social networking sites that showed an injured policeman on
the ground below, near a pool of blood and the overturned vehicle.
van plunged off the 6th October Bridge before demonstrators attacked
the wreckage. It is not known how many people were on board and how many
people survived the fall
A DAY OF BLOODSHED
more than 12 hours, security forces in black-clad body armor and
helmets, backed by snipers, military helicopters and armored vehicles,
used bulldozers to sweep away the encampment occupied by supporters of
ousted President Mohammed Morsi.
|Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi clash with security forces in Cairo's Nasr City district. Picture: AP / Manu Brabo
Army troops did not take part in the two operations.
crackdown drew widespread condemnation from the Muslim world and the
West, including the US, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei
resigned as the interim vice president in protest - a blow to the new
leadership's credibility with the pro-reform movement.
was a difficult day,'' interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi said in a
televised address to the nation. While he regretted the bloodshed, he
offered no apologies for moving against the supporters of ousted
President Mohammed Morsi, saying they were given ample warnings to leave
and he had tried foreign mediation efforts.
At least four
churches were attacked, with Christian activists accusing Morsi
loyalists of waging "a war of retaliation against Copts in Egypt".
was horrifying today were the snipers. The sound of bullets was
extremely frightening," said Mosa'ab Elshamy, a freelance photographer
who said he was standing next to a medic who was shot in the head by
sniper fire around noon.
"Most of the corpses I saw in the field
hospital had been shot in the head or chest," said Elshamy, who was in
the camp for more than six hours during the clashes. In two main
morgues, he said he counted 65 bodies.
Among those killed in Cairo
was 17-year-old Asmaa al-Beltagui, daughter of wanted Muslim
Brotherhood leader Mohammed al-Beltagui, a spokesman for Morsi's
|A supporter of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi shoots a slingshot against Egyptian security forces. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)
Located near the Rabbah al-Adawiya Mosque that has
served as the epicenter of the pro-Morsi campaign, the tent city was
erected six weeks ago to show support for Morsi and demand his
reinstatement after his overthrow in a July 3 military coup.Smoke and
flames poured from all corners of the camp, where cars and tents were
set alight, along with wood fires set by the protesters in an effort to
lessen the impact of tear gas.
It was in stark contrast to the
festive mood that had prevailed in recent weeks, when couples got
married and clerics took to the stage to announce they saw angels in
their dreams that were a sign of impending victory. Posters with Morsi's
image and slogans calling him the "legitimate president" were plastered
on tents and light poles, while giant loudspeakers played some of his
fiery speeches and women chanted "Morsi is my president."
the first hour of the crackdown, protesters said they tried to stop the
bulldozers by lying on the pavement in front of the vehicles.
"We stood in the face of the bulldozers. I was injured in the arm by gunfire," said a 24-year-engineer, Yasser Mohammed.
Witnesses said the protesters took over a building under construction, where they hurled firebombs down on the troops below.
are trying to prevent security forces from going toward the stage and
the mosque. They are using live ammunition and we are using rocks and
Molotov cocktails," said Ahmed Shaker, a 28-year-old chemist carrying
several beer bottles for that purpose.
"All the people who are
here are ready to die," declared Shaker, the father of a 2-year-old
girl, Yassmin. "When they took to the streets they knew it was a
possibility and they won't backtrack. I already wrote my will and gave
my wife the number of my bank account and told her who owes us money and
who we owe money to. If I have to die I will die."
|A supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi reacts during clashes with Egyptian security forces. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)
At a field
hospital set up behind the mosque, Abdullah Sayyed, a 25-year-old
doctor, said he was receiving wounded patients every 10 minutes.
had hundreds of cases," he said pointing to shattered glass near the
makeshift clinic, which he said had come under fire several times.
Inside, pools of blood covered the floors.
Mohammed Magdi, a 29-year-old cardiologist, said "dozens of bodies" had been brought to the clinic.
extract bullets and fix broken bones," said another doctor, who spoke
on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution. He said the gunfire
came from both snipers and helicopters.
Ahmed Salah, 40, who
suffered bullet wounds to the hand and chest, said: "The bullet is still
here. I need a surgery to remove it, but I can't go out."
said the encampment had been heavily armed and footage aired on state
TV showed security forces uncovering stashes of ammunition and hand guns
after storming the site.
As the crackdown came to a close around
7pm, hundreds of people streamed through a safe passage left open by
security forces for those who were not wanted by authorities.
included women cloaked in black niqabs that covered all but their eyes,
men in long beards, children with their parents, carrying bags, pillows
and luggage. Dozens of the injured, their clothes stained with blood,
were carried out on stretchers, in wheelchairs or in the arms of
Many broke into tears as they walked wearily or collapsed onto the pavement as sporadic gunfire rang out a short distance away.
"They killed us," a woman in black Islamic dress shouted hysterically.
chanted, "El-Sissi, illegitimate," in reference to the powerful
military chief, Gen. Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi, who removed Morsi from power
and had urged Egyptians to take to the streets to show support for the
military's move against the protest camps.
Others, lamenting the killing of a friend or family member, whispered, "No God but Allah."
had taken refuge inside the mosque, which after hours of clashes in its
vicinity was turned into a target of sniper fire and tear gas.
were locked inside the mosque," said 27-year-old Abdel-Rahman Ghozlan,
carrying a prayer rug on his shoulder. "They were firing tear gas and
live ammunition from all around us and we were trapped inside the
An hour later, he said, commandos entered and forced them all to leave.
a 37-year-old ultra-conservative Salafi Muslim sat on a side street,
clutching his injured leg. He said security forces had forced him out of
the field hospital. "The medical center was filled with tear gas," he
said, breaking into tears.
Nearby, a man shouted to those around him not to leave, reminding them of the protesters' pledge: "Do not leave but die here."
journalists were among the dead: Mick Deane, 61, a cameraman for
British broadcaster Sky News; Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz, 26, a reporter
for the Gulf News, a state-backed newspaper in the United Arab Emirates;
and Ahmed Abdel Gawad, who wrote for Egypt's state-run newspaper Al
Akhbar. Deane and Elaziz were shot to death, their employers said, while
the Egyptian Press Syndicate, a journalists' union, said it had no
information on how Gawad was killed.
The Great Pyramids just west
of Cairo were closed to visitors for the day together with the Egyptian
museum in the heart of the city. The Central Bank instructed commercial
banks to close branches in areas affected by the chaos.
officials said train services between northern and southern Egypt were
suspended to prevent Morsi supporters from traveling to Cairo. Clashes
erupted on two roads in the capital's upscale Mohandiseen district when
Morsi supporters opened fire on passing cars and pedestrians. Police
used tear gas to chase them away.
The government declared a
monthlong nationwide state of emergency and imposed a nighttime curfew
on Cairo, Alexandria on the Mediterranean and 12 other provinces where
violence broke out following the simultaneous raids.
ordered the armed forces to support the police in restoring law and
order and protect state facilities. Egypt was under emergency law for
most of Mubarak's 29 years in power.
The turmoil was the latest
chapter in a bitter standoff between Morsi's supporters and the interim
leadership that took over the Arab world's most populous country. The
military ousted Morsi after millions of Egyptians massed in the streets
at the end of June to call for him to step down, accusing him of giving
the Brotherhood undue influence and failing to implement vital reforms
or bolster the ailing economy.
(photos added by Axis of Logic)Source: News AU