Clashes in Egypt are continuing as this is being written. “Democracy Now!” correspondent and Nation Institute fellow Sharif Kouddous is on the scene in Ramses Square in Cairo, where the Muslim Brotherhood-occupied Fath mosque is being raided by the military. Kouddous has been livetweeting the operation, which, he says, has involved tear gas, the “police and army firing heavily,” at least one “loud explosion” and “absolute chaos”.
Middle East Global Post Editor Erin Cunningham also commented on images of the raid being provided by an Al-Jazeera steam, saying that a “puff of smoke from inside” suggests that there are gunmen occupying the minaret who are “indeed firing down.”
Meanwhile, the death toll from yesterday’s Cairene “Day of Rage” street battles has thus far reached 173. The number includes the son of Muslim Brotherhood’ leader Mohammed Badie.
Earlier today, Egyptian police also arrested Mohammed al-Zawhiri, the brother of al-Qaida leader Ayman and the leader of “the ultraconservative Jihadi Salafist group.”
His generally-more-sought-after brother has said that “the military coup that deposed Egypt’s elected president, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsy, proved that democracy had failed.”
Seemingly determined to prove the bastard right, the “interim” government has proposed outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood.
This is only going to get uglier, it seems — a very real possibility that would explain why the military is detaining Western reporters.just over two weeks since John Kerry praised the military coup for “restoring democracy” — remarks he quickly tried to walk back.
In just three of those days, as Ali Abunimah pointed out, the junta has killed more people than Mubarak’s forces did in the initial 2011 uprising.