Egyptian military kills 500 protesters in the streets
CAIRO — The death toll surpassed 500 on Thursday from Egypt’s bloodiest crackdown on supporters of its deposed Islamist president, as violent new protests erupted in the country and world condemnation widened, including an angry response by President Obama and calls for a suspension of European economic aid.
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Despite the growing tally of dead, Muslim Brotherhood supporters of Mr. Morsi exhorted followers to take to the streets on Thursday, defying the newly imposed state of emergency and reflecting a backlash against the military-appointed successors to Mr. Morsi’s administration, who appear determined to crush the Islamists as a political force.
Hundreds of Mr. Morsi’s supporters marched through Alexandria, Egypt’s second-largest city, clashing with the police. In Giza, across the Nile from Cairo near the pyramids, Islamists attacked provincial headquarters with Molotov cocktails and set it on fire. Islamists also blocked the main highway encircling Cairo.
In his first response to the Wednesday mass killings, Mr. Obama strongly condemned the Egyptian government’s use of brute force to crush the protests and said the United States had canceled military exercises with the Egypt’s armed forces scheduled for next month. Mr. Obama also warned of further unspecified steps if Egypt’s interim leaders continued down what he called a “more dangerous path.”
But he said nothing about cutting the $1.3 billion in annual military aid that the United States provides to Egypt and acknowledged that the United States had historically regarded the country as a friend and a “cornerstone for peace in the Middle East.”
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