Egypt Interim PM Defends Bloody Crackdown

World | August 15, 2013, Thursday // 07:00|  views

Morsy supporters carry a wounded man during clashes with riot police in Cairo on August 14. Photo by CNN/Getty Images

Egypt’s Interim Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi has defended the deadly crackdown against protest camps in the capital Cairo, saying the authorities had to restore security.

In his words the government felt compelled to act to ensure stability, praising security forces for their "calm" and claiming some activists had intent to undermine the government.

In a televised address, Interim PM Hazem Beblawi expressed regret for the loss of life and said the state of national emergency would be lifted as soon as possible.

"We are here to build a democracy based on justice," Beblawi said. "... We have to reason and use common sense. We are all part of this nation."

Protesters had been demanding the reinstatement of President Mohammed Morsi who was ousted by the military on 3 July.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which backed the protests, said more than 2,000 people died when security forces moved in to clear the two camps - in Nahda Square and near the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque.

The interim government said 235 civilians had been killed nationwide, as well as 43 police officers. The figures cannot be independently verified.

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Tags: Egypt, state, emergency, protest, camps, Cairo


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