August 17, 2013

Chaos engulfs Egypt as street battles rage

Residents furious with the Muslim Brotherhood protesters attack them with rocks, bottles and bullets.

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Supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, above, chant slogans against Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi before clashing with Egyptian security forces in Ramses Square, in downtown Cairo, on Friday.

Photos by The Associated Press

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Egyptian volunteers search for militants at a makeshift checkpoint on Cornich El-Nile street in Cairo.

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Associated Press photographers saw many of the dead inside the mosque-turned-morgue, which was also acting as a field hospital where the wounded were being wheeled in on wooden crates. One corpse had a name and phone number scribbled on the chest.

The upper floors of a commercial building towering over Ramses Square caught fire later in the day, with flames engulfing it for hours. It was not immediately clear what caused the fire at the building housing the Arab Contractors' construction company, but no injuries were reported.

VIOLENCE BEYOND CAIRO

Similar scenes played out in Egypt's second-largest city of Alexandria, where at least 10 people were killed in clashes between protesters and their rivals, according to a security official. Violence was also fierce in the province of Fayoum, just west of Cairo, where 11 people died during an attempt to storm the main security building there.

Fighting also broke out in at least five other provinces.

In the southern province of Minya, two churches were attacked by protesters, security officials said. At churches across the country, residents formed human chains to protect them from further assaults, and a civilian was killed while trying to protect a church in Sohag, south of Cairo, authorities said.

Many of Morsi's supporters have voiced criticism at Egypt's Christian minority for largely supporting the military's decision to oust him from office, and dozens of churches have been attacked this week.

Egypt, the Arab world's most populous nation, has been in turmoil since Morsi was removed from power by the military on July 3.

 

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