Chaos and blood as Egypt forces storm Muslim Brotherhood protest camp – witnesses

August 15, 2013

(Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi carry a protester injured during clashes with riot police and army at around the area of Rabaa Adawiya square, where they are camping, in Cairo August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)

First came the tear gas, the bulldozers and the flames. Then came the bullets and the blood.

Egypt’s security forces arrived after dawn on Wednesday to disperse the camp where thousands of Islamists have held vigil for six weeks. Helicopters roared above. Police fired tear gas into the crowd. Armoured bulldozers knocked down the makeshift walls made of sandbags and piles of rocks.

Inside, thousands of supporters of deposed President Mohamed Mursi were waking up into panic. Reuters correspondent Yasmine Saleh reached the camp shortly after the assault began, to hear desperate residents reciting Koranic verse and screaming “God help us! God help us!”

Masked police in dark uniforms were pouring out of police vans with sticks in one hand and tear gas bombs in the other. They tore down tents and set others ablaze.

“They smashed through our walls. Police and soldiers, they fired tear gas at children. We are peaceful, no weapons, we didn’t fire a shot, we threw stones. They continued to fire at protesters even when we begged them to stop,” said Saleh Abdulaziz, 39, a secondary school teacher clutching a bleeding wound on his head.
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