Egyptian army clears pro-Morsi camps, at least 15 killed; Update: 3 churches torched; Update: Death toll rises to 124, says AFP

posted at 8:01 am on August 14, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The Egyptian military promised to put an end to the encampments of Mohamed Morsi supporters in Cairo, and they acted on it today — with bloody results.  Depending on which side one hears, the deaths range from seven (the military reports) to, er, 2000 (pro-Morsi claim).  NBC News puts the number at 15 and rising, and not all of those came from one side:

Security forces began to clear two sit-in camps for supporters of the Egypt’s ousted president on Wednesday, sparking large-scale violent clashes that killed at least 15 people.

Bodies, some of them badly burned, were recovered as tear gas and gunfire engulfed protest camps at Rabaa and Nahda in the Egyptian capital.

About 200 people were arrested, the country’s interior ministry said.

Supporters of President Mohammed Morsi were seen throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at troops, Reuters reported. Security sources said five police officers were killed and 12 injured during the operation.

The Washington Post shows the wide disparity in claims:

A senior Health Ministry official, Ahmed el-Ansari, said a total of nine people were killed and 50 injured at the two sites. But the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, which backs the ousted president, claimed that more than 2,000 people died. The party initially said 500 protesters were killed and about 9,000 wounded in the raids.

The numbers could not immediately be confirmed. Witnesses said they saw at least 42 bodies of demonstrators in a field hospital at the site of one of the sit-ins.

Nor are those the only battles going on in the streets of Cairo:

The assault came after days of warnings by the military-backed interim administration that replaced President Mohammed Morsi after he was ousted in a July 3 coup. The two sit-in camps at two major intersections on opposite sides of the Egyptian capital began in late June to show support for Morsi. Aftre the coup, protesters there have demanded his reinstatement.

Clashes also broke out elsewhere in Cairo and other provinces across the country, with police stations, government buildings and churches attacked or set ablaze.

The Egyptian Central Bank instructed commercial banks to close branches in areas affected by the chaos, a sign of alarm that the violence could spiral out of control. The Ministry of Antiquities also ordered the site of the Giza Pyramids closed to visitors along with the Egyptian museum in the heart of the Egyptian capital. The closures were a precaution effective only for Wednesday, it said.

CNN describes the capital as “a war zone”:

Thick plumes of black smoke were rising through the air from where it was understood security forces had entered the area and pro-Morsy supporters were facing off against those forces, he said.

Protesters were breaking bricks and gunfire could be heard, while tear gas was filling the air.

“Up above there are military helicopters and this is just an all-out fight and I think this is what a lot of people were concerned about — this kind of violent scene,” he said.

This could have significant diplomatic consequences. According to Reuters, Turkey’s prime minister has demanded action from both the United Nations and the Arab League:

This will be an embarrassment for the US and the West, which have tried to push the military-imposed government toward reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood, although it’s pretty clear that the Brotherhood and other Islamists didn’t want reconciliation. They wanted a return of Morsi to power, full stop, with no other negotiations possible until the military capitulated. It’s clear the military won’t back down now, which means that either the Islamists have to figure out a way to work with them, or Egypt will break into civil war. It’s possible that this rout in the streets will give the Muslim Brotherhood second thoughts about its defiance, but don’t put money on that outcome.

Update: This was inevitable:

Supporters of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi torched three churches in central Egypt on Wednesday in reprisal attacks as police dispersed demonstrations in Cairo, reports said.

The assailants threw firebombs at Mar Gergiss church in Sohag, a city with a large community of Coptic Christians who comprise up to 10 percent of Egypt’s 84 million people, causing it to burn down, the official MENA news agency said.

Security officials told AFP that another two churches were attacked in El-Menia province, leaving them partially damaged by fire.

Coptic rights group the Maspero Youth Union reported the same information, accusing Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement of “waging a war of retaliation” against the country’s Christians.

Islamists had blamed the Copts all along for the fall of Morsi, so this is not unexpected — but it’s still another example of the brutality and irrationality of the Islamists in Egypt.

Update: The health ministry now says 56 people were killed.  AFP reports that the death toll has risen to 124:

I’ve seen some pictures of the corpses on Twitter, and I’d bet that AFP’s number is closer to reality.


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Kill ‘em all…let God Allah sort it out!

trs on August 14, 2013 at 8:05 AM

Smart power?

myiq2xu on August 14, 2013 at 8:08 AM

Kill ‘em all…let God Allah sort it out!

trs on August 14, 2013 at 8:05 AM

On a side note, I’ve always wondered if Allah and God are the same. They say these are synonyms…

NorthernCross on August 14, 2013 at 8:09 AM

So Egyptians are not fans of unicorns, rainbows, Skittles and stern lectures, I take…

hillsoftx on August 14, 2013 at 8:11 AM

OT: CNN wondering if Cruz is eligible?
Via Drudge

Yeah like they were worried about Obama

Hypocrites

cmsinaz on August 14, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Erdogan is sitting in his office thinking, “Morsi should have purged the military and imprisoned its US-trained leaders. I did that, and I’m still in power!”.

Obama probably agrees.

MTF on August 14, 2013 at 8:17 AM

Islamists had blamed the Copts all along for the fall of Morsi, so this is not unexpected — but it’s still another example of the brutality and irrationality of the Islamists in Egypt.

I thought this was all resolved when the filthy rat-eared bastard went to Tahir Square and bowed and scraped to the Islamists about how super wonderful they were and how much America sucks and how wrong our policies have been in listening to the Jews. What happened?

Happy Nomad on August 14, 2013 at 8:17 AM

“Islamists had blamed the Copts all along for the fall of Morsi, so this is not unexpected — but it’s still another example of the brutality and irrationality of the Islamists in Egypt.”

Ah, not just in Egypt, but wherever Islamists can be found.

415woman1 on August 14, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Hillary/ Obama legacy

cmsinaz on August 14, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Caliphate forward!!

The Muzz Brohood and its supporters (McCain/Jarrett/etc) in DC have spoken.

PappyD61 on August 14, 2013 at 8:19 AM

On a side note, I’ve always wondered if Allah and God are the same. They say these are synonyms…

NorthernCross on August 14, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Who is they?

All I know is that my God doesn’t condone flying planes into buildings to kill thousands of infidels. Islam’s god says differently.

My God doesn’t condone using pressure cookers to slaughter people out watching a marathon. Islam’s god says differently.

My God doesn’t blow up children at Israeli pizza parlors. Islam’s does.

My God doesn’t mow down soldiers in a case of “workplace violence.” Islam is okay with that.

So, as far as I’m concerned, Allah and God are not synonymous because Islam is not a religion that should be respected by the rest of the world. They are intolerant and stuck in the sixth century. And shame on American Muslims for remaining silent about the atrocities committed in this nation on behalf of their false god.

Happy Nomad on August 14, 2013 at 8:22 AM

Predictable Unintended Consequences.

socalcon on August 14, 2013 at 8:23 AM

On a side note, I’ve always wondered if Allah and God are the same. They say these are synonyms…
NorthernCross on August 14, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Really? ALWAYS? You’ve ALWAYS wondered?

Where were you raised? Jakarta?

Cleombrotus on August 14, 2013 at 8:32 AM

cmsinaz on August 14, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Go to the HA thread from yesterday. Even some cons are making pretzels trying to say he isn’t.

CW on August 14, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Makes sense, torch churches in retaliation for being ousted by the military.

More like: Hey it’s Wednesday, let’s blame someone else for our troubles and kill them.

Bishop on August 14, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Moslems killing Moslems.

I have no problem with that.

But when it comes to my fellow Christians, I call upon the Name of the Lord to protect the Brethren.

And if you trolls and other liberal don;t like that, TFB.

Liam on August 14, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Clearly they need more Subarus with COEXIST bumper stickers…that’ll calm everything down.

Galtian on August 14, 2013 at 8:43 AM

The Obama administration continues to be irrelevant to world events. How amusing! Dumb Power!!!

Deano1952 on August 14, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Thanks cw

cmsinaz on August 14, 2013 at 8:47 AM

cmsinaz on August 14, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Happy Wednesday, good friend!

I apologize I woke up seriously cranky. Please excuse me for today, because I fear I’m going to be rather impolite to liberals today. Just for my own entertainment, but sure to fall well short of the ban hammer. :-P

Liam on August 14, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Burning churches….this is how Islamists act, almost daily, all around the world.

As for the Egyptian government and the Egyptian military, trying to end this pro-Morsi garbage…they recognize it for what is is, a threat to Egypt and all of its people. Not one good thing came out of the illegitimate Morsi regime.

This garbage will not end, in Egypt nor anywhere in the world, until people understand exactly what Morsi and his ilk were trying to accomplish, and what the Islamists are are trying to accomplish across the globe.

At least al-Sissi is willing to stand up to the Islamists.

Washington?

Hell, this Administration is in league with them.

And the rest of the world is too cowardly to refuse to go along.

Oooo, I might offend somebody…and there are tons of “good” Moslems so these radical Islamists are just misguided radicals…it is the religion of peace and all that, remember?

A dozen years since 9-11…decades since the earliest fatwas were promulgated calling on Moslems to destroy the West.

And most still refuse to understand that the cult of Islam and the Western culture and values are mutually exclusive.

Lan astaslem.

coldwarrior on August 14, 2013 at 8:56 AM

And most still refuse to understand that the cult of Islam and the Western culture and values are mutually exclusive.

Lan astaslem.

coldwarrior on August 14, 2013 at 8:56 AM

But…but..liberals always know better! /

Liam on August 14, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Liam on August 14, 2013 at 8:59 AM

And most still refuse to understand that the cult of Liberal/Progressivism and the Western culture and values are mutually exclusive.

Lan astaslem.

coldwarrior on August 14, 2013 at 9:02 AM

And most still refuse to understand that the cult of Liberal/Progressivism and the Western culture and values are mutually exclusive.

Lan astaslem.

coldwarrior on August 14, 2013 at 9:02 AM

That, too.

I’d love shipping the lot of them to Iran, and let them espouse their stuff over there.

Remember when Bush @ was setting up to pop Iraq, and all those American liberals went to Baghdad to be ‘human shields’ against American bombs?

They sure ran fast enough when Hussein (not our Hussein guy in the White House) took them at their word and placed them at actual targets.

They couldn’t run home fast enough.

Liam on August 14, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Egypt is in the northern hemisphere.

Springtime ended months ago.

Winter on the way.

questionmark on August 14, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Liam on August 14, 2013 at 9:07 AM

When your cute little puppy piddles on the living room carpet, you roll up a newspaper…

This is the only thing Islamists and liberals will understand.

Saying “oh, you cute little puppy wuppy made a mess on Momma’s carpet, you cutesie wootsie widdle ball of fur…” only encourages them to do more of the same a lot more often.

coldwarrior on August 14, 2013 at 9:12 AM

coldwarrior on August 14, 2013 at 9:12 AM

I’m more a cat person. But I housebreak a puppy the same way I potty trained my children: regular and scheduled runs to where they have to go.

Like with liberals, I don’t let the puppy pee on the carpet.

Liam on August 14, 2013 at 9:15 AM

It’s clear the military won’t back down now, which means that either the Islamists have to figure out a way to work with them, or Egypt will break into civil war.

Umm, no. There will be no civil war in Egypt as long as the military is left alone to put down the Brotherhood, and as long as the U.S. and other “interested” parties keep their snouts out.

Mr. Arkadin on August 14, 2013 at 9:16 AM

They couldn’t run home fast enough.

Liam on August 14, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Ugh. I suppose we let them back in too. *eyeroll* Should have gone in even quicker to keep them from getting away. Anyone stupid enough to do something like that really deserves a smartbomb down the pie-hole.

wearyman on August 14, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Mr. Arkadin on August 14, 2013 at 9:16 AM

What’s the over-under on Blowbama deciding to have a little foreign adventure in Egypt?

wearyman on August 14, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Ugh. I suppose we let them back in too. *eyeroll* Should have gone in even quicker to keep them from getting away. Anyone stupid enough to do something like that really deserves a smartbomb down the pie-hole.

wearyman on August 14, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Liberals aren’t worth the half-million dollars of a smart bomb.

But it was fun watching those ‘peace activists’ go scurrying when their guy Hussein took them at their word to be ‘human shields’. LOL

It was a, “Who, me?” kind of moment.

Liam on August 14, 2013 at 9:21 AM

WH releases statement:

“Lets not jump to conclusions…..this appears to be nothing more than workplace violence”

BobMbx on August 14, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Umm, no. There will be no civil war in Egypt as long as the military is left alone to put down the Brotherhood, and as long as the U.S. and other “interested” parties keep their snouts out.

Mr. Arkadin on August 14, 2013 at 9:16 AM

I think that train left the station a long time ago.

This may have been the opening battle and the MoBros were caught bringing rocks to a gunfight, but I don’t think they’re going to be limited to rocks and home-made Molotov cocktails for long. I’d expect to see plenty of Benghazi goodies showing up as soon as they can be diverted from Syria.

bofh on August 14, 2013 at 9:29 AM

So is this still not a coup?

scalleywag on August 14, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan.

The Obama foreign policy team is cruising from one disaster to the next, blissfully unaware of the murder and mayhem left in their wake.

We will all be lucky to escape from world war before these terrible people finally leave office.

MTF on August 14, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Reset.

Reset!

RESET.

RESET!

RESET!!!!!!

Damn button’s not working!

questionmark on August 14, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Gee, that Hillary really did a swell job…

dpduq on August 14, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Middle East in turmoil, chaos in the streets, prison breaks, military slaughtering protestors and innocents, 4 killed in Benghazi, missing missiles, Al qaeda on the rise, more suicide bombings in Iraq, …all under this president and his administration’s watch. Heckuva job! Let’s make Hillary the next COC!

scalleywag on August 14, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Q. What do you call 124 dead MoBro’s in Cairo?

A. A Good Start.

Tom Servo on August 14, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Obama’s taking a bubble bath and cannot be bothered with this pithy stuff.

/Slacker

Key West Reader on August 14, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Cairo Speech!
Cairo Speech!
Cairo Speech!
Cairo Speech!
Cairo Speech!
Cairo Speech!
Cairo Speech!
Cairo Speech!
Cairo Speech!

profitsbeard on August 14, 2013 at 10:45 AM

The great benefit of the problems of the MB is that no one can claim that the MB is a Jewish front group… their suckage is purely of their own making and their blaming of others shows just how much they truly suck being unable to admit that they are the authors of their own failure.

The MB deserves the pain that is coming to it. As do its supporters in this Administration.

ajacksonian on August 14, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Islamists had blamed the Copts all along for the fall of Morsi, so this is not unexpected — but it’s still another example of the brutality and irrationality of the Islamists in Egypt.

One man’s brutality and irrationality are another man’s hope and change.

onomo on August 14, 2013 at 12:09 PM

If the Egyptians had only listened to John McCain and his consort, Lindsey…all of this unpleasantness could have been avoided.

Solaratov on August 14, 2013 at 12:38 PM

So is this still not a coup?

scalleywag on August 14, 2013 at 9:44 AM

It’s not a coup-coup.

[Despite being rather cookoo.]

Solaratov on August 14, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Obama’s taking a bubble bath and cannot be bothered with this pithy stuff.

/Slacker

Key West Reader on August 14, 2013 at 10:38 AM

I didn’t know you had a lisp. ;-)

Solaratov on August 14, 2013 at 12:50 PM

“Egypt will become a bomb!”

Egypt…it’s da BOMB!

Solaratov on August 14, 2013 at 3:47 PM

One man’s brutality and irrationality are another man’s hope and change.

onomo on August 14, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Words to live by.

Solaratov on August 14, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Clearly they need more Subarus with COEXIST bumper stickers…that’ll calm everything down.

Galtian on August 14, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Bumper Sticker of the Day. (so to speak)
They have the COEXIST on every make and model here; my Subaru still has a Romney sticker, but it’s kind of fading.

Oddly enough, most of the COEXISTers are Christians — I don’t think they and the MB and AQ are on the same page about this “getting along” business.

AesopFan on August 14, 2013 at 3:55 PM