Lambs to the slaughter

The Muslim Brotherhood has apparently decided to expend the lives of its members and their families by marching in protest against the government, despite the announcement that police have been authorized to shoot down protestors "in self defense."

The march, billed as a "day of anger," has begun and shots are already ringing out.

BBC:

The demonstrations are taking place under the slogan "the people want to topple the coup" - referring to the military's removal of Mr Morsi on 3 July.

His supporters have been urged to converge on Ramses Square from a number of mosques throughout the city.

Security in the capital is tight, with many armoured personnel carriers on the streets.

Entrances to Tahrir Square, the focus of demonstrations that led to the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, were also reported to have been blocked off by the army.

State TV said the military was deploying to protect "important and vital facilities".

Members of groups opposed to Mr Morsi - the National Salvation Front and Tamarod - are reported to have called for counter-demonstrations in response to the Muslim Brotherhood protests.

There have also been calls for people to protect their neighbourhoods and churches throughout the country.

Egypt's Coptic Christian community has been targeted by some Islamists who accuse the Church of backing the army's overthrow of Mr Morsi last month.

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, an NGO, says 25 churches, along with private homes and businesses belonging to Copts and other Christian denominations, were attacked on Wednesday and Thursday.

There are fears of renewed bloodshed after authorities said the police were entitled to use live ammunition to protect themselves and key state institutions from attack.

Reports say there were renewed attacks on security forces on Thursday, with at least seven soldiers and a policeman killed in the Sinai peninsula and another police officer killed in the central city of Assiut.

Some are laying all of the blame for the violence on the Muslim Brotherhood. Given their history and their methods, there is some truth in that statement. But there appears to be little effort on the part of the government to avoid shooting down women and children. For that, they should receive plenty of criticism, as well as questioning their good faith in trying to negotiate a solution to the crisis.

The most populous Arab state in the Middle East is headed for a civil war unless cooler heads somewhere prevail.

The Muslim Brotherhood has apparently decided to expend the lives of its members and their families by marching in protest against the government, despite the announcement that police have been authorized to shoot down protestors "in self defense."

The march, billed as a "day of anger," has begun and shots are already ringing out.

BBC:

The demonstrations are taking place under the slogan "the people want to topple the coup" - referring to the military's removal of Mr Morsi on 3 July.

His supporters have been urged to converge on Ramses Square from a number of mosques throughout the city.

Security in the capital is tight, with many armoured personnel carriers on the streets.

Entrances to Tahrir Square, the focus of demonstrations that led to the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, were also reported to have been blocked off by the army.

State TV said the military was deploying to protect "important and vital facilities".

Members of groups opposed to Mr Morsi - the National Salvation Front and Tamarod - are reported to have called for counter-demonstrations in response to the Muslim Brotherhood protests.

There have also been calls for people to protect their neighbourhoods and churches throughout the country.

Egypt's Coptic Christian community has been targeted by some Islamists who accuse the Church of backing the army's overthrow of Mr Morsi last month.

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, an NGO, says 25 churches, along with private homes and businesses belonging to Copts and other Christian denominations, were attacked on Wednesday and Thursday.

There are fears of renewed bloodshed after authorities said the police were entitled to use live ammunition to protect themselves and key state institutions from attack.

Reports say there were renewed attacks on security forces on Thursday, with at least seven soldiers and a policeman killed in the Sinai peninsula and another police officer killed in the central city of Assiut.

Some are laying all of the blame for the violence on the Muslim Brotherhood. Given their history and their methods, there is some truth in that statement. But there appears to be little effort on the part of the government to avoid shooting down women and children. For that, they should receive plenty of criticism, as well as questioning their good faith in trying to negotiate a solution to the crisis.

The most populous Arab state in the Middle East is headed for a civil war unless cooler heads somewhere prevail.

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