Nation & World News

Attacks, Reprisals And Church Burnings As Egypt Teeters

By Mark Memmott on August 19th, 2013

The news from Egypt, where more than 900 people have died and thousands more have been wounded since the interim government began cracking down on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi last Wednesday, remains grim:

— “Suspected militants on Monday ambushed two mini-buses carrying off-duty policemen in Egypt’s northern Sinai, killing 25 of them execution-style and wounding two, security officials said.” (The Associated Press)

— The circumstances of 36 other deaths Sunday “are especially murky. Thirty-six prisoners were killed in what the government says was an attempted escape by jailed supporters of Morsi.” (Morning Edition)

— A “wave of attacks” on the country’s Christian minority continues. (Morning Edition)

There are, as NPR’s David Greene adds, “fears the country might be headed toward a civil war.”

William Hague, the U.K.’s foreign secretary, has told the BBC that it will take “years or maybe decades” for the turmoil in the Middle East and Arab world to “play itself out.” The situation in Egypt in particular, he says, is “very bleak.”

Hague added that it is “hard to overstate the levels of hatred and mistrust between the various sides of politics in Egypt.”

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