Egypt Death Toll Passes 600 as Brotherhood Vows New Protests

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Funerals, Rallies Likely to Inflame Tensions.

The death toll from Egypt’s wave of violence climbed to at least 638, fueling anger and deepening the political cleavages in the Arab world’s most populous nation.

Cairo’s streets were mostly calm Thursday in neighborhoods not affected by the previous day’s clashes, which were sparked when Egypt’s military regime brutally cleared two Cairo sit-ins where protesters were demanding the reinstatement of Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood-backed president ousted on July 3 by the military. Brotherhood leaders called on their supporters to regroup in protest later in the day despite a military curfew set to go into effect at dusk, fueling tensions over the possibility of more conflict. As the curfew went into effect, Brotherhood supporters continued to mass at the protest site, Imam Mosque in Cairo’s Nasr City.

There were also signs that Egypt’s security forces hadn’t yet succeeded in establishing a secure hold on the country, despite the draconian limits of movement it has announced.

Attackers set fire Thursday afternoon to the governor’s office in Giza, the administrative territory on Cairo’s outskirts and the site of one of the two protest camps broken up by the military. State television blamed the attack on “Brotherhood elements” but offered no proof.

Elsewhere in Egypt, pro-Morsi demonstrators in Alexandria, the country’s second-largest city, came out in force to protest Wednesday’s bloodshed. Seven Egyptian soldiers were shot dead by unknown gunmen near the city of al Arish in the Sinai region, according to security forces.

Despite the nation’s deep disquiet, neither Egypt’s military leadership nor the civilian leaders it appointed to the interim government spoke to the nation to explain its strategy for guiding Egypt from its political morass.

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