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Nation/World

August 15, 2013

278 killed at protest camps in Egypt

(Continued)

The Interior Ministry statement also warned that forces would deal firmly with protesters who were acting “irresponsibly,” suggesting that it would respond in kind if its men are fired upon. It said it would guarantee safe passage to all who want to leave the Nasr City site but would arrest those wanted for questioning by prosecutors.

Army troops did not take part in the two operations, but provided security at the locations. Police and army helicopters hovered over both sites hours after the police launched the simultaneous actions shortly after 7 a.m. (0500 GMT).

The Health Ministry said 149 people were killed and 1,403 injured across Egypt, but it did not immediately provide a breakdown.

An alliance of pro-Morsi groups said Asmaa Mohammed el-Batagy, the 17-year-old daughter of the senior Brotherhood figure who was detained by police, was shot and killed. Her brother, Ammar, confirmed her death on his Twitter account.

Two journalists were among the dead — Mick Deane, 61, a cameraman for British broadcaster Sky News, and Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz, 26, a reporter for the Gulf News, a state-backed newspaper in the United Arab Emirates, the news organizations reported. Both had been reported to be shot.

A security official said 200 protesters were arrested at both sites. Several men could be seen walking with their hands up as they were led away by black-clad police.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm claimed that more than 500 protesters were killed and some 9,000 wounded in the two camps, but those figures could not be confirmed and nothing in the video from AP or local TV networks suggested such a high death toll.

Before he was detained, Mohammed el-Beltagy put the death toll at more than 300, urged police and army troops to mutiny, and said Egyptians should take to the streets to show their disapproval of the crackdown.

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