Egypt’s interim government has declared a month-long state of emergency after violent clashes between security forces and thousands of supporters of ousted president, Mohammed Morsi, claimed hundreds of lives in Cairo.
The announcement came amid a deadly crackdown by security forces on two Cairo protest camps set up by supporters of Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi.
Conflicting reports have emerged over the number of people killed on Wednesday.
“The dead are both from police and civilians,” said the ministry’s spokesman, Hamdi Abdel Karim.
AFP said its reporters had counted 124 deaths. But Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad claimed that as many as 2,000 people had been killed and 10,000 injured in the police operation.
Helicopters were circling over the protest sites, using loudspeakers to call on the demonstrators to leave. Security troops used tear gas against protesters, and there were also reports of intensive gunfire in the area.
Sky News cameraman Mick Deane was killed, the UK-based news channel reported. Deane had worked for Sky for 15 years. The rest of the team was unhurt.
“I have personally never seen this much bloodshed in what, according to what we’ve seen over the past six weeks, had been a peaceful demonstration,” Sayah said. Visiting makeshift hospitals, a CNN crew was “literally walking on the blood of the victims.”
One man who appeared bloodied told CNN his friends were killed.
The Egyptian army had earlier warned of taking action against the supporters of the ousted president.