According to numerous reports, military forces used guns, snipers, tear gas and armoured bulldozers when holding the ‘campain’ aimed at clearing the camps in Cairo, which had been at the centre of Islamist opposition to the country’s new government.
As The Telegraph writes, “the operation left a scene of carnage on the capital’s streets and the country embroiled in its worst turmoil since the start of the Arab Spring.”
The operation was considered as a key moment and at the same time the culmination of a long-time stand-off between Egypt’s military and the Muslim Brotherhood advocates which followed the military’s decision to remove Mohammed Morsi as president.
Protesters announced a few weeks ago their decision to create two camps, one near the city’s Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque and the other near Cairo University, until Morsi was reinstated. However, the country’s military decided to put an end to it with decisive force.
“We will stay here until we die, one by one,” said Ahmed Ali, 24, helping treat casualties at the field hospital.
“We have the examples of Algeria and Syria in our minds. We don’t want it to become a civil war. If we take up arms it might become one. This is a religious belief.”
The Muslim Brotherhood claimed that during the operation more that 500people were killed included unarmed civilians, women and children.
Egypt’s health ministry claimed that an official death toll has currently stopped at 149 people dead, with more than 1,400 injured, although those figures were expected to rise.
David Cameron condemnedthe violent acts, saying the bloodshed was “not going to solve anything”. U.S. also called on the Egyptian government “to respect basic human rights”, but stopped short of threatening to cut off US aid to the country.
John Kerry, the US secretary of state, critiized the methods Egypt’s military used to end the conflict, describing the bloodshed as “deplorable” and “counter to Egyptian aspirations for peace, inclusion and genuine democracy”.
He told reporters at the State Department: “The world is watching. Violence is simply not a solution in Egypt or anywhere else.”
A statement issued on behalf of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said: “We reiterate that violence won’t lead to any solution and we urge the Egyptian authorities to proceed with utmost restraint.”
Meanwhile, Egypt has delared a state of emergency.
The state of emergency is scheduled to last for a month, and imposes a curfew in Cairo and several other provinces between 19:00 local time (17:00 GMT) and 06:00.
The measure was taken because the “security and order of the nation face danger due to deliberate sabotage, and attacks on public and private buildings and the loss of life by extremist groups,” the presidency said in a statement.
Vice-President Mohammed ElBaradei has announced his decision to resign from the interim government in the wake of the situation which is getting worse every single day.
“I cannot continue in shouldering the responsibility for decisions I do not agree with and I fear their consequences. I cannot shoulder the responsibility for a single drop of blood,” he said in a statement.