'Horrific Here': Egypt Death Toll Passes 500

More protest marches planned for today
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2013 4:14 AM CDT
Updated Aug 15, 2013 8:01 AM CDT
Brotherhood Vows Peaceful End to 'Military Coup'
Egyptians mourn over the bodies of their relatives in the El-Iman mosque in Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt, Thursday.   (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Egypt is bracing for yet more violence today. The Muslim Brotherhood has called for protest marches in Cairo, and hundreds already are marching in Alexandria, reports Reuters. Meanwhile, the government has raised the official death toll to 525 and the injury count to about 3,700, reports the AP, but those figures take into account only those victims who went through hospitals. The Muslim Brotherhood continues to insist that the real death toll from yesterday is closer to 2,000. Dispatches from foreign journalists are bleak: "So many dead protestors in the mosque I am visiting in Cairo that my feet are wet with disinfectant and blood," tweeted Jonathan Rugman from UK's Channel 4 News. "Horrific here." He also recounts an announcement at the mosque: "anyone who can leave, please do. The bodies are decomposing in the heat." Other developments:

  • The government has extended the detention of ousted President Mohamed Morsi for another 30 days, according to state media.
  • Egypt's interim PM says the decision to make yesterday's deadly crackdown "was not easy," but the government had no choice in the face of failed mediation and "anarchy," the BBC reports. "We found that matters had reached a point that no self-respecting state could accept," says Hazem el-Beblawi.

As for the outside world:

  • Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan is urging a prompt UN Security Council meeting. "Those who remain silent in the face of this massacre are as guilty as those who carried it out," he says.
  • France, Britain, and Germany have condemned the violence.
  • The Obama administration has slammed the military action, too, but it hasn't taken any tangible punitive actions, the New York Times points out: There's no sign that US aid will stop flowing to Egypt. A vacationing President Obama didn't immediately comment.
  • The US has, however, made some "largely symbolic" moves, Time notes: Yesterday, for instance, Washington announced it might not carry out joint military exercises with Egypt as intended.
(More Egypt stories.)

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