WASHINGTON — Riots and violence are now raging in the streets of Egypt as the Muslim Brotherhood is resisting arrest and orders to clear out by the Egyptian police.
“The reports of deaths and injuries are extremely worrying,” said Michael Mann, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. “We reiterate that violence won’t lead to any solution and we urge the Egyptian authorities to proceed with utmost restraint.”
The numbers of dead and wounded are being disputed, but there have been reports of at least one cameraman and reporter being shot and killed in the violence as the police and security forces are clearing out Muslim Brotherhood camps and vigil areas. The Muslim Brotherhood is protesting the fall of their president and leader Mohammed Morsi, who was deposed by the Egyptian military in a bloodless coup. An interim government was set up for the next six months until another set of elections is put into place.
Morsi’s power-grabbing actions spurred massive protests in Egypt and led to a 48-hour-ultimatum by the military, which Morsi ignored and rebuffed. He also imprisoned bloggers who advocated democracy, tried to circumvent the courts and presided over a stagnant economy.
The Obama administration has waffled on their support of Egypt, first in their attempt to send U.S. fighter jets to the Morsi regime then withdrew it once the coup took place. Obama denounced the factions sparring in Egypt and his Secretary of State John Kerry had to backtrack remarks supporting the new interim government.