Dozens Dead in Egypt Protests

Military opens fire on supporters of Muslim Brotherhood
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2013 5:53 AM CDT
Egypt Military Kills Dozens of Morsi Backers
Supporters of Mohamed Morsi are seen in the smoke of tear gas fired by riot police during clashes.   (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Those slim hopes that Egypt would get through the ouster of Mohamed Morsi without anymore major violence came to a quick end overnight. The military opened fired on Morsi supporters in Cairo before dawn, leaving dozens dead, reports Reuters. Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood estimates at least 70 people were killed. "They are not shooting to wound, they are shooting to kill," says a spokesman. Witnesses say the police first used tear gas to try to disperse protesters, but soon escalated to birdshot and then bullets, reports AP.

The violence came after both sides staged mass rallies yesterday. Egypt's military leader had encouraged supporters to stage a demonstration to give him a "mandate" to stop terrorism, widely interpreted to mean going after the Brotherhood. And that appears to have been exactly what happened. “This is a preparation for eliminating the Brotherhood,” a political science professor at the American University in Cairo tells the New York Times. (Read more Egypt protests stories.)

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