At Least 60 Killed In Egypt Clashes [VIDEO]
Heavy gunfire rang out Friday throughout Cairo as tens of thousands of supporters of Egypt’s ousted president clashed with armed vigilantes in the fiercest street battles to engulf the capital since the country’s Arab Spring uprising. At least 64 people were killed in the fighting nationwide, including police officers.
Carrying pistols and assault rifles, residents battled with protesters taking part in what the Muslim Brotherhood called a “Day of Rage,” ignited by anger at security forces for clearing two sit-in demonstrations Wednesday in clashes that killed more than 600 people.
Military helicopters circled overhead as residents furious with the Brotherhood protests pelted them with rocks and glass bottles. The two sides also fired on one another, sparking running street battles throughout the capital’s residential neighborhoods.
There was little hope that an evening curfew would curb the violence as the Muslim Brotherhood called on supporters of the country’s ousted Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, to stage daily protests.
Unlike in past clashes between protesters and police, Friday’s violence took an even darker turn with residents and possibly police in civilian clothing battling those participating in the Brotherhood-led marches. There were few police in uniform to be seen as neighborhood watchdogs and pro-Morsi protesters fired at one another for hours on a bridge that crosses over Cairo’s Zamalek district, an upscale island neighborhood where many foreigners and ambassadors reside.
Across the country, at least 56 civilians were killed, along with eight police officers, security officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
The violence erupted shortly after midday weekly prayers when tens of thousands of Brotherhood supporters answered the group’s call to protest across Egypt in defiance of a military-imposed state of emergency following the bloodshed earlier this week.
McCain, Graham call for suspending US aid to Egypt
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two Republican senators are calling on the Obama administration to suspend U.S. aid amid spiraling violence in Egypt.
Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina traveled to Egypt last week at President Barack Obama’s request. McCain and Graham said Friday the interim government and the military are, quote, “taking Egypt down a dark path, one that the United States cannot and should not travel with them.”
Their statement comes amid reports of scores more deaths, as supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi launched demonstrations in defiance of a military-imposed state of emergency.
More than 600 people died Wednesday.
Obama announced Thursday he is scrapping plans for joint U.S.-Egypt military exercises. But the president stopped well short of withholding $1.3 billion in annual U.S. military aid.
Companies halt operations amid violence in Egypt
CAIRO (AP) — A number of international companies are suspending operations in Egypt as three days of violent clashes make the streets unsafe in Cairo.
Electrolux, General Motors, Royal Dutch Shell, Toyota, Suzuki, BASF and others shut down factories and offices and told thousands of workers to stay at home.
Violence in Egypt has left nearly 700 people dead since Wednesday after riot police razed two Cairo encampments where supporters of President Mohammed Morsi protested his ouster.
Electrolux spokesman Daniel Frykholm says the Swedish appliance maker is making sure its 6,700 workers in Egypt aren’t exposed to risks traveling to and from work.
Most of the companies will remain closed through the end of the Egyptian weekend on Saturday. Many said they would assess the situation Saturday evening to determine if it’s safe enough for workers to return Sunday.