'We Won't Stop Until Morsi Reinstated'
The Egyptian Health Ministry has revised the death toll in deadly clashes from 278 to 525, as the country emerges from its most violent and bloody period since the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Officials said that 43 of the dead were police officers.
More than 3,500 people have also been wounded in the clashes triggered when the interim government finally made good on its promise to forcibly clear protest camps set up by the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters, who are demanding the reinstatement of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi. Morsi was ousted by the army on July 3rd and has been held in detention since, facing a number of criminal charges.
The main camps were located in the capital, Cairo, but violence quickly spread to the rest of the country.
Muslim Brotherhood officials have claimed the bloodshed is far greater than the government admits, saying that at least 2,000 people have been killed in what they termed a "massacre" by security forces against "peaceful demonstrations" by their supporters.
In a bid to quell the violence, the interim Egyptian government announced a state of emergency yesterday, but the situation has continued to escalate regardless. The continuing bloodshed led to the resignation of Egyptian Vice President Mohammed El-Baradei, who said in a statement that he could not "continue in shouldering the responsibility for decisions I do not agree with and I fear their consequences. I cannot shoulder the responsibility for a single drop of blood."
Speaking to CNN, senior Muslim Brotherhood official Essam Elerian struck a defiant tone, declaring that he was undeterred by the violence or by calls for his arrest, as well as those of other senior Brotherhood leaders:
"We will continue our sit-ins and demonstrations all over the country until democracy and the legitimate rule are restored in Egypt," he said.
"They can arrest me and 100 of us, but they can't arrest every honorable citizen in Egypt. They can't stop this glorious revolution."
Despite claims of the "peaceful nature" of Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations, security forces claim to have come under fire by armed supporters of Mohammed Morsi.
A series of gruesome images and videos have emerged since last night which seem to corroborate claims of Muslim Brotherhood violence, showing the lynching of Egyptian police.
In one video, seen by Arutz Sheva, the body of a man - apparently a member of the security forces - is dragged through through a baying mob as supporters of Morsi hurl insults and physically attacks the body. At the end of the clip, someone off camera points a rifle at the body and opens fire to "confirm the kill."
Islamist supporters of the ousted president are also accused of upping their campaign of violence against the country's indigenous Coptic Christian population.
Since yesterday at least 17 churches and a number of Christian-owned homes and businesses were torched by Muslim mobs. Coptic Christians have been a target for violence - sometimes deadly - since Morsi's ouster, amid fears that they are being scapegoated by frustrated Islamists.
But government forces are also being blamed for using deadly violence, calling in "special forces" to use deadly force to put down the protests, according to CNN.