August 14, 2013 - 21:20 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - At least 95 Egyptians were killed on Wednesday, Aug 14, after security forces moved in on protesters demanding the reinstatement of President Mohammed Morsi, and the government imposed a state of emergency as violence swept the most populous Arab nation, Reuters reported.
Troops opened fire on Islamist demonstrators in clashes that brought chaos to the capital and other cities and looked certain to further polarize Egypt's 84 million people between those who backed Morsi and the millions who opposed his brief rule.
In the streets around the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in northeast Cairo, where thousands of Morsi supporters have staged a sit-in for the last six weeks, riot police wearing gas masks crouched behind armored vehicles, tear gas hung in the air and burning tires sent plumes of black smoke into the sky.
Several television stations ran footage of what appeared to be pro-Morsi protesters firing automatic rifles at soldiers from behind sandbag barricades.
Violence spread beyond Cairo, with Morsi supporters and security forces clashing in the cities of Alexandria, Minya, Assiut, Fayoum and Suez and in Buhayra and Beni Suef provinces.
The health ministry put the overall death toll at 95 people, including both police and civilians, with other sources saying at least 17 were killed in Fayoum province and five in Suez.
Morsi supporters besieged and set fire to government buildings and several churches were attacked, state media said.
The presidency announced a month-long state of emergency across Egypt and ordered the armed forces to help police enforce security. Rights activists said the move would give legal cover for the army to make arrests.
The interim cabinet, installed by the military to guide Egypt to fresh elections in around six months, also announced a curfew from 7 pm to 6 am in several provinces as well as Cairo and Alexandria.