CAIRO — Egyptian authorities Thursday significantly raised the death toll from clashes the previous day between police and supporters of the ousted Islamist president, saying more than 600 people died and laying bare the extent of the violence that swept much of the country and prompted the government to declare a nationwide state of emergency and a nighttime curfew.
The death toll, which rose to 638, according to the latest Health Ministry figures, makes Wednesday by far the deadliest day since the 2011 popular uprising that toppled longtime ruler and autocrat Hosni Mubarak — a grim milestone that does not bode well for the future of a nation roiled in turmoil and divisions for the past 2 ½ years.
Health Ministry spokesman Mohammed Fathallah put the number of the injured Wednesday at 3,994.
Near the site of one of the smashed encampments of ousted President Mohammed Morsi's supporters in the eastern Nasr City district, an Associated Press reporter on Thursday saw dozens of blood soaked bodies stored inside a mosque. The bodies were wrapped in sheets and still unclaimed by families.
Relatives at the scene were uncovering the faces in an attempt to identify their loved ones. Many complained that authorities were preventing them from obtaining permits to bury their dead.
Fathallah said 288 of the dead were killed in the larger of the two camps, in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district.
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