BlackFacts Details


At the urging of Gen. Sisi, who wields more influence over the country than the interim government, hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets on July 26 to show support for the military and to demand that the country confront terrorism. The next day, members of the Muslim Brotherhood staged their own demonstration—a sit-in—in Cairo in support of Morsi, and police opened fire, killing more than 80 people and wounding several hundred. Despite the escalating violence, the Islamists continued the sit-ins and set up protest camps. On August 14 riot police raided the camps. They opened fire and used armored bulldozers, tear gas, snipers, and helicopters to clear the camps. Protesters threw rocks and burned tires in response. More than 500 people were killed, and the government declared a state of emergency. Mohamed ElBaradei resigned as vice president in protest of the militarys action. President Barack Obama canceled joint military exercises between Egypt and the U.S. that were scheduled for September in response to the militarys repressive and heavy-handed tactics. “While we want to sustain our relationship with Egypt, our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual while civilians are being killed in the streets,” Obama said.

The crackdown and protests dragged on for several days, as both the military and Morsis supporters vowed to continue their fight. Casualties mounted with more than 1,000 fatalities, most of whom were Morsi supporters. On Aug. 18, 36 Islamic militants in police custody were killed while being transported to prison on the outskirts of Cairo, and on Aug. 19 militants killed 24 police officers in the northern Sinai region. Foreign governments urged the military to use restraint, a plea largely ignored. While foreign officials deplored the heavy-handed tactics of the military, they were careful not to imply support for the protesters, recognizing that the interim government was the only hope for stability. On Aug. 19, police arrested Mohamed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s