Egypt Death Toll Rises to 421. Peaceful Protesters were set-up
Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) ,- Egypt´s Ministry of Health has announced, that 421 people have been killed and that 3572 have been injured in operations to disperse protesters and clashes following the operation in several cities throughout Egypt. The high death toll was primarily caused by snipers who targeted peaceful and unarmed protesters, as well as by gunfire from armed radicals firing at Egypt´s security forces. Many of the killed were caught up in the middle of gunfights between armed radicals and security forces.
Mohammad Fathallah, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, stated that 137 people had been killed in the Rabia al-Adwaieh area, while 57 were killed in al-Nahda Square. 28 were dying in the Helwan area and 198 died in Egypt´s other provinces and towns. Among those killed were at least four members of Egypts security forces while scores of them have been injured. On Wednesday, Egypt´s interim-President Adly Mansour decided to announce a one month long, nationwide state of emergency. Egypt´s Cabinet has imposed a nationwide curfew from 7 o´clock p.m. to 6 o´clock a.m.
Police forces, supported by Egypt´s military, have gained full control over the Rabia al-Adwaiah Square in Nasr City and have removed the main stage at the Rabe´a mosque. Security forces have appealed to people inside the mosque to leave the place safely, guaranteeing their safe departure with the exception of those who were wanted. Protesters at both camps had been provided with safe passages, enabling them to leave the encampments.
Planted Reports on Al-Jazeera Perpetuated Worldwide. The Ministry has rejected claims and news reports which have been circulated by al-Jazeera and other Muslim Brotherhood associated TV channels, according to which the military should have used live ammunition against protesters in the Rabaa al-Adwiya and al-Nahda Squares. The reports by al-Jazeera and others have led to the false reports being perpetuated throughout other media, such as RT as well as most Western mainstream media.
nsnbc international has spoken with several eyewitnesses who were at the scene of the events who reported, that snipers were firing into the peaceful protesters, stirring up violence. The eyewitnesses stressed, that unless journalists were aware of where the armed radicals were shooting from, and where snipers were located, it was understandable that journalists at the scene would get the impression that the protesters were being targeted by the police and military. One eyewitness added “After all, most of the protesters who were leaving also thought that the police was firing on them”.
Moreover, eyewitnesses reported to nsnbc international, that the armed radicals at the two squares, who were barricaded behind the fortifications of sand-filled sacks, opened fire at the police, killing many of the peaceful protesters who were caught-up in the line of fire.
Peaceful Protesters Set-Up by Armed Radicals and Killed to Create Crisis. Extremists Killed Protesters Who Were About to Leave. The Ministry stressed, that security forces have used tear gas only, despite the fact that they have come under heavy fire by some of the protesters. The ministry stated, that it was the fire from within the ranks of the protesters that killed the victims as well as several officers and conscripts with live bullets.
Two of the four eyewitnesses who reported for nsnbc international however, reported that it might have been possible that snipers of the security forces have attempted to take out those snipers who were targeting unarmed protesters. The eyewitnesses further report, that snipers especially targeted people who had decided to leave peacefully, thus creating a mass panic and preventing others from leaving safely.
Police forces were also targeted with live ammunition near the University of Cairo, where pro-Morsi protesters had stormed into the university, firing at the police and military forces from within the university. Independent eyewitnesses have confirmed for nsnbc international, that the police did not return fire with live ammunition, using tear gas exclusively, to force the protesters to leave the university buildings.
Today, violence erupted in several of Egypt´s cities. Radicals are especially targeting predominantly Christian districts in the Sinai peninsula. nsnbc international has received several reports about massacres on Christians in predominantly Christian villages throughout the Sinai peninsula, while we were unable to corroborate the reports of independent eyewitnesses.
The tragically high death toll was, according to the independent eyewitnesses nsnbc has spoken with caused by radical, militant elements from within the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood, cynically targeting peaceful protesters, murdering the protesters as cannon-fodder in the attempt to create a crisis and a state of civil war.
EGYPT EYEWITNESS HOTLINE
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In depth analysis about the background for and the development of the crisis in Egypt:
Interview with nsnbc international editor Christof Lehmann by The Voice of Russia: