Egypt, including its capital Cairo, teetered on the edge early Thursday as clashes persisted following the bloodiest day since the revolution two years ago that was envisioned to bring peace and democracy to Egypt — but has not.
The violence Wednesday pitted Egypt’s military and current government against backers of deposed President Mohamed Morsy, though others also were caught in the fray. At least 278 people were killed, including 235 civilians, state TV reported, citing an Egyptian emergency official. Interim Interior Minister Gen. Mohammed Ibrahim said that an additional 43 police officers died.
The intensity and violence lingered into Thursday morning, when state TV reported Morsy backers were attacking police stations, hospitals and government buildings despite a government-mandated curfew. More Egyptian troops were being deployed at entrances to Cairo and Giza, with the unrest prompting the closure Thursday of banks and the nation’s stock market.
The 2011 revolution that led to the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, who’d kept a firm grip on power for 30 years, was followed by Egypt’s first democratic elections. Morsy — a leader of the Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood — won the presidency in that 2012 vote, but was forced out by the military last month.
The government on Wednesday, according to state TV, issued a month-long state of emergency. This a loaded term in Egypt, given that Mubarak long ruled under such a decree that barred unauthorized assembly, restricted freedom of speech and let police jail people indefinitely. The prime minister said the government felt compelled to act to ensure stability, praising security forces for their “calm” and claiming some activists had intent to undermine the government.
What will it take to calm down the situation in Egypt? Can Egypt still achieve true democracy? Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions with us!
Source: Greg Botelho. Josh Levs and Ian Lee | CNN
Image: ABC 30