CAIRO — Riot police backed by armored vehicles, bulldozers and helicopters Wednesday swept away two encampments of supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, sparking running street battles elsewhere in Cairo and other Egyptian cities. At least 278 people were killed nationwide, many of them in the crackdown on the protest sites.
Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and pro-reform leader in the interim government, resigned in protest over the crackdown as the military-backed leadership imposed a month-long state of emergency and nighttime curfew.
Clashes broke out elsewhere in the capital and other provinces, injuring more than 2,000 people nationwide, as Islamist anger spread over the crackdown on the 6-week-old sit-ins of Morsi supporters that divided the country. Police stations, government buildings and Coptic Christian churches were attacked or set ablaze.
The assault to take control of the two sit-in sites came after days of warnings by the interim administration that replaced Morsi after he was ousted in a July 3 coup. The camps on opposite sides of the Egyptian capital began in late June to show support for Morsi. Protesters, many from Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, have demanded his reinstatement.
It was the highest single day death toll since the 18-day uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.