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Egypt in Turmoil

Protests turn violent, hundreds dead, conflicting reports abound

Egypt in Turmoil

Clashes between Egyptian security forces and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi makes Wednesday, August 14th the country's bloodiest single day since the 2011 revolution that ousted the previous president, Hosni Mubarak. The death toll from Egypt’s bloody crackdown on supporters of the deposed president, Mohamed Morsi, soared beyond 500 across the land on Thursday with more than 3,700 people injured, the Health Ministry said. Three journalists have also been killed, and several others report having been beaten or threatened by police after identifying themselves as journalists. Both sides have accused the other of being the aggressor, but there have been mixed reports as to whether the protestors are armed.

The military-backed interim president Adly Mansour declared a state of emergency hours after the clashes began, imposing a nighttime curfew that would allow them to detain anyone out on the street indefinitely.  Egypt’s interim vice president, Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, announced his resignation in response to the violence – “It has become too difficult to continue bearing responsibility for decisions I do not agree with and whose consequences I fear,” believing that the loss of life could have been avoided. "Unfortunately those who gain from what happened today are those who call for violence and terror, the extremist groups.”

In a statement, the White House condemned the curfew and bloodshed, and urged the interim government to “respect basic human rights such as freedom of peaceful assembly, and due process under the law. The world is watching what is happening in Cairo.” The United States has not taken a clear side in the conflict.

The Muslim Brotherhood stated on their website that protests will continue until Morsi is reinstated as president, refusing to accept his removal which they claim was an illegitimate coup. Morsi was elected by receiving 25% of the vote, with the rest of the vote split among other candidates. The military removed Morsi from power June 3rd, acting on a mandate from the 10 million people who protested his election.