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Nation/World

August 15, 2013

278 killed at protest camps in Egypt

(Continued)

Several senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood who were wanted by police were detained after police stormed the camp near the mosque, according to security officials and state television. Among those seized were Brotherhood leaders Mohammed el-Beltagy and Essam el-Erian and hard-line cleric Safwat Hegazy — all wanted by prosecutors to answer allegations of inciting violence and conspiring to kill anti-Morsi protesters.

Police dismantled the main stage near the mosque in the eastern Cairo district of Nasr City, the official MENA news agency said. An AP reporter saw hundreds of protesters leaving the sit-in site carrying their personal belongings.

Smoke clogged the sky above Cairo, and fires smoldered on the streets, which were lined with charred poles and tarps after several tents were burned.

In imposing the state of emergency, the government ordered the armed forces to support the police in restoring law and order and protecting state facilities. The nighttime curfew affects Cairo and 10 provinces.

The Egyptian Central Bank instructed commercial banks to close branches in areas affected by the chaos. The landmark Giza Pyramids and the Egyptian Museum also were closed to visitors for the day as a precaution, according to the Ministry of Antiquities.

The turmoil was the latest chapter in a bitter standoff between Morsi’s supporters and the interim leadership that took over the Arab world’s most populous country. The military ousted Morsi after millions of Egyptians massed in the streets at the end of June to call for him to step down, accusing him of giving the Brotherhood undue influence and failing to implement vital reforms or bolster the ailing economy.

The coup provoked similar protests by Morsi’s backers after he and other Brotherhood leaders were detained as divisions have deepened, dealing a major blow to hopes of an end to the turmoil that followed the 2011 revolution against Mubarak.

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