UK & World News
Egypt: 278 People Killed In Nationwide Clashes
More than 270 people have been confirmed killed in violence across the country, after Egyptian security forces opened fire as they tried to clear two protest camps loyal to deposed president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo.
A month-long state of emergency has been declared as violence spread from the capital to other parts of the country including the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. The move has been opposed by the US.
A curfew from 7pm to 6am has been declared in Cairo, according to reports, as well as ten other provinces including Alexandria and Suez.
The health ministry put the number of dead at 278 - including 43 police officers - with hundreds more injured.
Hazem Al Beblawi, the Prime Minister, said he remained committed to the democratic process under a civilian state.
But he justified the use of force saying that Morsi loyalists had been sowing chaos around the country, "terrorising citizens, attacking public and private property".
"The state had to intervene to restore security and peace for Egyptians," he said. "No democratic country would impose an emergency state unless it is absolutely necessary."
US Secretary of State John Kerry called the events "deplorable".
"Violence will not create a roadmap for Egypt's future. Violence only impedes the transition."
He added that the promise of the 2011 revolution has not yet been fully realised.
Egypt's vice president, Mohamed ElBaradei, has announced also his resignation. Meanwhile two Brotherhood politicians have reportedly been arrested.
Sky's Middle East Correspondent Sam Kiley, reporting earlier from inside the Rabaa al Adawiya camp in the capital, said it was "under very heavy gunfire" and was a "massive military assault on largely unarmed civilians in very large numbers".
He said government forces were using machine guns, snipers, AK-47 and M16 rifles and were firing into the crowd.
Kiley added: "There are machine gun rounds, and snipers on the roof, that are preventing people from getting any closer to the field hospital (in the camp).
"I haven't seen any evidence yet of any weapons on the side of the pro-Morsi camp. The camp is very full of women and children."
He said it was a scene of "extreme chaos and bloodshed" and "many hundreds of troops and interior ministry police and special forces are involved".
"The dead and dying are on the steps of an improvised field hospital. The scenes here are absolutely graphic.
"I have covered many wars and this is as severe a battlefield as I have witnessed, with the exception of scenes in Rwanda. There are dozens and dozens of people who have been shot in the head, neck and upper body."
Among those reported killed in the camp was Asmaa al Beltagui the 17-year-old daughter of senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed al Beltagui.
Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities have released video footage taken from a helicopter which it said showed gunmen in the camp firing at security forces.
The unrest spread beyond the capital, as pro-Morsi supporters clashed with police in the Nile Delta cities of Minya and Assiut, as police stations, government buildings and churches were attacked or set ablaze.
In Alexandria, tear gas canisters rained down on a pro-Morsi march in the Sharq neighbourhood, amid repeated bursts of automatic gunfire.
Residents, armed with clubs, came out of their homes and shops to help the police, detaining Morsi supporters and handing them over to officers at the Sharq police station.
Morsi supporters, carrying Egyptian flags and pictures of the deposed leader, then clashed with his opponents on a road carpeted with rocks.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was "deeply concerned at the escalating violence in Egypt, and regret the loss of life on all sides".
He added: "I condemn the use of force in clearing protests and call on the security forces to act with restraint."
Qatar, Turkey and Iran were among the other countries criticising the deadly crackdown.