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Violent crackdown ignites tensions across Egypt

Egyptian security forces stand guard in front of a blaze in Cairo on August 14, 2013.

Press TV

Violence continues to flare up across Egypt after a violent crackdown by security forces removed encampments of the supporters of ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, in Cairo.

The several incidents of violence took place after Egyptian security forces attacked supporters of Morsi in Cairo on Saturday.

Fierce clashes broke out between the Egyptian security forces and thousands of Morsi supporters in Nasr City District of Cairo with armed forces firing tear gas to disperse thousands of angry pro-Morsi protesters at the 6th October Bridge in central Cairo.

A Muslim Brotherhood official said at least 2,200 people had been killed and over 10,000 injured in the forceful evacuations, noting that the figure was provided by Raba’a hospital.

The government, however, has put the death toll at nearly 90. This comes as the army-backed government says six security forces have been killed and nearly 70 others wounded during the clashes.

Police used tear gas, armored vehicles and bulldozers to disperse the ousted president’s supporters camping out in al-Nahda Square and Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque. Egyptian security forces stormed the main Rabaa al-Adawiya camp after evacuating the al-Nahda Square, the smaller of the two protest camps.

At least two hundred people, including a number of Brotherhood leaders have also been arrested so far.

Some reports say violence has also spread to Cairo’s Christian neighborhoods where three churches have been allegedly set ablaze.

Meanwhile, clashes have been reported from several other cities. Violence in Fayoum, Suez and Alexandria has left nearly two dozen people dead.

The country’s leading Islamic authority, al-Azhar has condemned the latest spate of deadly violence.

The Grand Mufti of al-Azhar has called on the army-backed leaders and the Muslim Brotherhood to resolve their differences through negotiations.

Ahmed al-Tayyeb says resorting to violence has never been an alternative to a political solution. The senior cleric has also called on all Egyptians to show restraint and take the nation’s interests into consideration.

Egypt has plunged into unrelenting string of violence since General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the head of the Egyptian army pushed aside the first democratically elected president and declared chief Justice of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Mansour, as the interim president.

On August 12, the Anti-Coup Pro-Democracy Alliance called on people to hold nationwide rallies to counter the military clampdown on their sit-ins.

The Egyptian army had earlier warned of taking action against the supporters of the ousted president.

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