Aug 16 2013
The death toll has soared past 600 after Egypt's deadliest day since the Arab Spring began.
Weeping relatives in search of loved ones have been uncovering the faces of the unclaimed dead in a Cairo mosque near the smouldering epicentre of support for ousted president Mohammed Morsi.
World condemnation widened for the bloody crackdown on Mr Morsi's mostly Islamist supporters, including an angry response from US president Barack Obama, who cancelled joint US-Egyptian military manoeuvres.
The violence has spread, with government buildings set on fire near the pyramids, policemen gunned down and scores of Christian churches attacked. As turmoil engulfed the country, the Interior Ministry authorised the use of deadly force against protesters targeting police and state institutions.
The Muslim Brotherhood, trying to regroup after the assault on their encampments and the arrest of many of their leaders, has called for a mass rally on Friday in a challenge to the government's declaration of a month-long state of emergency and a dusk-to-dawn curfew.
At least 638 people have been confirmed dead and nearly 4,000 wounded in the violence sparked when riot police backed by armoured vehicles, snipers and bulldozers smashed the two sit-ins in Cairo where Morsi supporters had been camped out for six weeks to demand his reinstatement.
It was the deadliest day by far since the 2011 popular uprising that overthrew autocratic ruler Hosni Mubarak and plunged the country into more than two years of instability.
The Health Ministry said that 288 of those killed were in the largest protest camp in Cairo's Nasr City district, while 90 others were killed in a smaller encampment at al-Nahda Square, near Cairo University. Others died in clashes that broke out between Morsi's supporters and security forces or anti-Morsi protesters elsewhere in the Egyptian capital and other cities.
Mohammed Fathallah, the ministry spokesman, said earlier that the blood-soaked bodies lined up in the El Iman mosque in Nasr City were not included in the initial official death toll. It was not immediately clear if the new figures included them.
Inside the mosque-turned-morgue, the names of the dead were scribbled on white sheets covering the bodies, some of them charred, and a list with 265 names was plastered on the wall. Many people complained that authorities were preventing them from obtaining permits to bury their dead, although the Muslim Brotherhood announced that several funerals had been held. Mr Fathallah denied that permits were being withheld.