Over the six weeks since Mohammad Morsi was deposed and the Army took over control of Egypt, Morsi’s supporters have developed their own sit-in camps in the streets of Cairo. These camps were centered on two locations–Nahda Square in Giza and the Nasr City neighborhood in Cairo, around the Raba’a al Adawiya Mosque.
On Tuesday, as Al-Azhar attempted to get talks started to lessen the divide between the religious and political factions in Egypt, pro-Morsi protestors began marching on the Interior Ministry. According to Al Akhbar English, local people began taunting the marchers, calling them terrorists, and rocks were thrown. Soon clashes had escalated to the point that the police intervened, using tear gas to attempt to disperse the marchers as well as the pro-Army residents fighting them.
On Wednesday things escalated. The Army moved in on the Nahda Square camp with bulldozers and tear gas, clearing the camp at the cost of 57 protestors dead. Resistance was stiffer at the Nasr City camp—the death toll from the Wednesday fighting was estimated at close to 500, with nearly 2000 injured. The Brotherhood of course said the death toll was far higher, accusing the Army of “massacring” 2000 people. The Raba’a al Adawiya Mosque was gutted by fire during the fighting. According to the Interior Ministry, 43 policemen were killed in the violence.
The violence was not confined to Cairo however, with pro-Morsi protestors attacking anti-Morsi businesses, police stations, and Coptic Christian churches in Alexandria. The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights says that 25 Coptic churches, along with many of the homes and businesses of Copts and other Christians, were attacked on Wednesday. The Coptic Church has been accused by the Muslim Brotherhood of backing Morsi’s ouster. There was a notable upswing in anti-Christian violence in Egypt under Morsi’s administration.