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Monday, July 8, 2013

At Least 42 Islamists Killed in Egypt

Violence in Egypt continues to escalate. According to Resuters, at least 42 people were killed during a pro-Muslim Brotherhood demonstration.

From Reuters:

At least 42 people were killed on Monday when Islamist demonstrators enraged by the military overthrow of Egypt's elected President Mohamed Mursi said the army opened fire during morning prayers at the Cairo barracks where he is being held.

But the military said "a terrorist group" tried to storm the Republican Guard compound and one army officer had been killed and 40 wounded. Soldiers returned fire when they were attacked by armed assailants, a military source said.

The emergency services said more than 320 were wounded in a sharp escalation of Egypt's political crisis, and Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood urged people to rise up against the army, which they accuse of a military coup to remove the elected leader.


As an immediate consequence, the ultra-conservative Islamist Nour party, which initially backed the military intervention, said it was withdrawing from stalled negotiations to form an interim government for the transition to fresh elections.

The military has said that the overthrow was not a coup, and it was enforcing the will of the people after millions took to the streets on June 30 to call for his resignation.

But pro- and anti-Mursi protests took place in Cairo, Alexandria and other cities, and resulted in clashes on Friday and Saturday that left 35 dead.

It leaves the Arab world's largest nation of 84 million people in a perilous state, with the risk of further enmity between people on either side of the political divide while an economic crisis deepens.
It's a very tumultuous time in Egypt and very hard to predict the ultimate outcome. Normally looking at the backers of the country would give some clue, but the U.S. backed Morsi but their both Obama's credibility and determination are lacking. Saudi Arabia's is being rather cautious and ambivalent to the whole thing, even though the Muslim Brotherhood enjoys a fair amount of financial backing from rich and influential people within the country.

Everyone is hedging their bets, so very few clues as to how this is going to work out. It'll be bloodier in days to come, but that's pretty obvious.

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