Saturday, August 17, 2013

Egypt mulls disbanding Muslim Brotherhood as death toll rises to over 700

(Fox News) Egyptian authorities are considering disbanding the Muslim Brotherhood group on the heels of security forces storming a Cairo mosque where hundreds of Islamist supporters of the country’s ousted president were barricaded inside, a government spokesman said.

Witnesses say that Egyptian security forces stormed the mosque after firing tear gas at hundreds former President Mohammed Morsi supporters.

Local journalist Shaimaa Awad told The Associated Press that security forces rounded up pro-Morsi protesters inside al-Fatah mosque, located in Cairo’s central Ramses Square and the sound of gunfire could be heard in the background.

Egypt’s official news agency MENA reported that gunmen opened fire on security forces from the mosque’s minaret. Local television stations broadcast live footage of soldiers firing assault rifles at the minaret.

Security forces in armored personnel carriers surrounded the mosque and appeared to be firing automatic weapons from their vehicles. It was not apparent to a reporter on the ground that protestors in the mosque were firing back, contrary to government arguments that supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood were armed and committing terrorist acts that needed to be squashed by state security forces, The Wall Street Journal reported. [...]

The violence capped off a week that saw more than 700 people killed across the country. That toll surpasses the combined death toll from two and a half years of violent protests since the ouster Mubarak to the July 3 coup that toppled Morsi.