British camera man dead in Egypt as security forces break up pro-Morsi sit-ins
Egypt’s political crisis intensified today as scores of protesters, along with a Sky journalist, were killed after security forces moved in to break up two pro-Muslim brotherhood sit-ins in Cairo.
The military used bulldozers to clear the camps and opened fire on protesters who had been demanding the reinstatement of deposed Islamist president Morsi for the last six weeks in Nasr City, a suburb of the capital.
The Interior ministry reported the arrest of 200 people and insisted that protesters were given an opportunity to leave the sit-in. It denied using excessive force, claiming that five members of the security forces were killed by protesters firing automatic weapons on the police.
Although the Muslim brotherhood alleged that more than 500 people had been killed including women and children, it was difficult for the journalists on the ground to independently verify the number of casualties.
Security forces targeted reporters and photographers, apparently determined to control the flow of information to the outside world. Sky News confirmed that a British cameraman had been killed. Mick Deane, aged 61, had worked for Sky for 15 years before he was shot during a raid today in Rabaa al-Adawiya Square in Cairo.
The violence spread in in other Egyptian cities and three churches were attacked in the southern part of the country, raising fear of sectarian violence as Morsi supporters accuse the Church leaders of siding with the military.
All rail services were also suspended throughout the country as security forces fear that Morsi supporters from other parts of the country could rally in Cairo.
As part of the crackdown, senior Brotherhood politicians were also arrested and the interim government praised the interior ministry for its self-control blaming the Islamic organisation for inciting violence.
Although the military claimed that Nahda square sit-in near Cairo University had been completely cleared, clashes were still on-going this afternoon with protesters building barricades to prevent security forces to break the larger sit-in in Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque.
Reporters on the ground reported fire on both sides as authorities considered declaring a state of emergency across the country.
This is the third day with high casualties since the army took power after two previous crackdowns left dozens dead last month. Brotherhood supporters lost faith in the political process after president Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military on July 3rd after being democratically elected last year.