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CLEARING OUT CAIRO August 15, 2013

Posted by wmmbb in Middle East, North Africa.
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Egypt had an election two years ago with President Morsi’s election, and now Cairo’s Nahda Square and the space adjoining The Rabaa al-Adawija Mosque are filled with smoke from burning tyres, Police and Army vehicles and bulldozers with protesters.

As Jason Ditz reported before moving against the pro-Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood protesters, the junta had appointed 25 new provincial governors, 19 of whom were former generals. Phillip Giradi in conversation with Scott Horton referred to reports suggesting that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf dictatorships were buying rent-a -crowds to create violence as a precondition for martial law. The Saudis and Emirates are in fear of free elections it was suggested (at the very end of the interview).

The BBC is providing a live coverage. There up to moment reporting included this report of a death:

Journalist Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz, 26, who worked for Gulf publication Xpress, was also killed in the unrest, her employers said. “She was passionate about her work and had a promising career ahead,” Xpress deputy editor Mazhar Farooqui said. Ms Abd Elaziz, who was Egyptian, had been on leave at the time, her employers said.

The number of dead is not known for sure, although it seems clear the Junta is underestimating the number. Al Jazeera reports:

Live footage from Cairo on Wednesday morning showed smoke engulfing Nahda Square, the smaller of the two sit-ins based in Giza, amid reports of tear gas and birdshots being used on supporters of the deposed president.

. . . Witnesses said that after firing tear gas into the Rabaa al-Adawiya sit-in, pandemonium struck among the thousands of protesters who had set up camp there soon after Morsi was ousted by the army on July 3.

Protesters have camped in Cairo demanding the reinstatement of Morsi, who was country’s first democratically elected president and his Freedom and Justice Party was the largest political group in the now dissolved parliament.

Clashes quickly erupted between protesters and security forces on one side of the camp, with automatic fire reverberating across the square. It was not immediately clear who was shooting.

Al Jazeera’s Rawya Rageh, reporting from Cairo, said: “This battle is much bigger than what you’re seeing and the casualties. This is a fight for the future of the country, and something that will determine the course of the Egyptian revolution that has been going on for two years now.

The most recent development, reported by the BBC, is that the “interim government” has declared a state of emergency beginning at 14:00 GMT. The suggestion that full military rule will last one month. One can imagine that this move would not be unexpected.

Jewish News One provides recent footage:

Events in Egypt will have repercussions throughout the Arab world.

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