|The Egyptian security forces disband the sit-in at Nahda Square in Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 14, 2013. The Egyptian security forces managed to evacuate Nahda Square in Giza, one of the two major squares where supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi had been sitting in for over 45 days, state TV reported Wednesday. (Xinhua/Engy Emad)
CAIRO, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Egyptian security forces have taken full control of the two major squares where supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi had been sitting in for some 45 days, after the dispersing operation started in the early hours of Wednesday, state-run MENA news agency reported.
However, the number of deaths and injuries as a result of the clearing-up at Rabaa al-Adawiya Square in Cairo's Nasr City and Nahda Square in Giza remains conflicting at the moment.
Official Ahram Online, quoting the ambulance authority, said five people were killed after the dawn operation and 52 injured in confrontations between the security forces and Morsi's supporters at the two squares; while State TV specified that a police officer and a police recruit were killed at Rabaa al-Adawiya, and three protesters were killed at Nahda.
Witnesses told Xinhua that the three protesters were burnt to death after a gas cylinder exploded in their tents due to the turmoil at Nahda Square.
Earlier, a Xinhua correspondent at Rabaa al-Adawiya Square said "There is heavy gunfire all over the place ... while at least 15 people were killed in the process." But the figure is yet to be confirmed.
Unsurprisingly, the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, reported a much larger death toll, as its official website claimed that over 200 were killed and more than 8,000 injured in the lines of Morsi's supporters. It also asked pro-Morsi protesters to take to the streets to continue their demonstrations.
As the Interior Ministry said a number of Muslim Brotherhood leaders have been arrested during the crackdown, the Egyptian railway authorities, in a latest precautious move, ordered to halt all the train movements in Lower Egypt as confrontations might lead to blocking the railways.
The security forces have also intensified patrols and checkpoints at all entrances leading to Cairo and Giza governorates, reported MENA.
After the evacuation, Morsi's supporters marched from Boulaq el- Daqrour district near Nahda Square to Moustafa Mahmoud Square in Cairo's Mohandseen district to launch new protests, a Xinhua correspondent said.
A protester taking part in the march, Tariq Al Qassab, 39, said "Our fiends in Rabaa wake up to find shooting everywhere," vowing to continue their protests elsewhere.
"If the security forces thought they would cripple our will by clearing the sit-ins at Rabia and Nahda, they are totally mistaken, " said Qassab.
Another Morsi's supporter, Sayed Aly, said "This is genocide, not dispersing peaceful protesters," adding that the security forces should use tear gas and water cannon to disperse the protesters, not live shooting and snipers.
But the Interior Ministry denied there were deaths among sit- inners as a result of security forces' use of live ammunition, saying that the reports carried out by media outlets affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood were groundless, according to MENA.
Moreover, the police forces said they have found huge amounts of automatic weapons and ammunition in a tent set up by Morsi's supporters at Nahda Square, MENA reported.
The Interior Ministry said earlier in a statement that the security forces "have taken all necessary procedures to disband the two said sit-ins, allowing the sit-inners to safely leave through specific announced exits."
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