More than 40 people were killed in Cairo on Wednesday in a violent Egyptian Army operation to clear two sit-ins for supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and its ousted president, Mohamed Morsi.
Among the dead are a Sky TV cameraman and the teenage daughter of Mohamed al Beltagy, a Muslim Brotherhood leader, and at least two police officers. Scores of protestors were arrested by security forces, who moved in early Wednesday in force, accompanied by armored vehicles, bulldozers and helicopters. Hours later, the smaller protest, at Nahda Square, had been cleared, but the larger one in Nasr City was still resisting.
The scene was horrific:
Images on Al Jazeera television showed a car ablaze and protesters being treated for bloody injuries. Protesters’ tents appeared to have been razed, and a pillar of black smoke rose above palm trees in one of the areas. The footage showed what appeared to be a gunman firing from a rooftop, but the shooter’s identity was not immediately clear.
At Nahda Square, black-uniformed police wearing gas masks and helmets dragged and carried away protesters, the footage showed. At least one of the protesters showed no sign of life as his limp body was loaded into an ambulance. The police seemed to be rounding up protesters in groups as they fled the barrages of tear gas. The footage also showed smoke from burning tires.
State television broadcast images of what it said was a protester firing on security forces with an assault rifle.