7 dead, hundreds injured in Egypt clashes
After a few days breather, the Muslim Brotherhood continued their violent campaign to overturn the coup that removed President Morsi from office. In clashes with police, 7 are dead and more than 262 were injured.
The riots occurred just hours after a clueless US diplomat hailed a "second chance" for democracy in Egypt.
Deadly clashes erupted on the streets of Cairo on Monday night not long after a visiting U.S. diplomat hailed what he called a "second chance" for Egyptian democracy after the ouster of the country's elected president this month.
Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns, the highest-level U.S. official to visit Cairo since President Mohamed Morsi was removed by the military July 3, signaled Washington's readiness to stand with Egypt's new leaders. Hours later, hundreds of thousands of Morsi supporters shut down major roads and highways in central Cairo and the coastal city of Alexandria, and police launched barrages of tear gas to clear them.
By Tuesday morning, at least seven people were dead and more than 260 injured, according to the state-run Middle East News Agency.
Ramses Square in the center of Egypt's capital quickly turned into a battle zone early Tuesday, as clashes erupted between Morsi's supporters and police who were joined by plainclothes men hurling stones at the protesters from an overpass.
About 300 Morsi supporters took shelter inside the al-Fateh Mosque as clashes flared in Ramses Square early Tuesday. The protesters remained inside the mosque Tuesday afternoon, but they said they planned to leave soon. No police or security forces remained in the vicinity.
Millions of Egyptians took to the streets at the beginning of this month to call for Morsi's ouster, prompting the July 3 coup that ended the one-year tenure of the nation's first democratically elected president. Since then, thousands of men, women and families, many of them from Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, have held a sit-in outside a mosque in eastern Cairo. The protesters have vowed to stay until Morsi is reinstated, and Brotherhood leaders have called for expanding a nationwide campaign of civil disobedience.
It's hard to do, but President Obama's stance toward the Egyptian coup has managed to anger both sides. I suppose it takes really "smart" diplomacy to accomplish that difficult task, so congratulations to the administration for their efforts.
And perhaps Mr. Burns should be told to keep his big mouth shut.