Update, July 5, 6 p.m.: Reuters reports the death toll is now up to 17, mostly in Cairo, according to health officials. That number is almost certain to rise.
The Washington Post also brings us a curious claim from an Egyptian military spokesman, who says in a statement that no arrests have been made of political figures since the protests began last week. He called on the media to verify its facts. Just on Friday, two top religious figures were reportedly arrested, though some Muslim Brotherhood officials were apparently released.
Previous update, July 5: The Associated Press now pegs the total dead at 10 in protests across Egypt, citing a health official, including at least four killed in pro-Morsi demonstrations in Cairo on Friday. At least 210 more were reportedly injured. Video footage of one man shot in the head by security forces was shared widely on YouTube. Warning: the video is graphic and disturbing.
As night fell on Cairo, protests continued, with clashes apparently pushing close to Tahrir Square. Al Jazeera has live video feed of the unrest, and the Washington Post’s live blog has the latest from reporters around the capital.
Previous update, July 5: Violent demonstrations erupted in Cairo Friday as supporters of ousted former President Mohamed Morsi marched toward the barracks where he is reportedly being held by the military. The Washington Post reports waiting troops opened fire on some of the protesters and killed at least one, while the BBC and Al Jazeera say at least three are dead.
The protests brewed after the Muslim Brotherhood rejected a role in the coming political process, instead rallying around Morsi and calling for supporters to take to the streets. The military, which insists Morsi’s ouster was justified because of massive protests in recent weeks, has arrested dozens of senior Muslim Brotherhood officials—a move that has drawn strong criticism within Egypt and around the world.
Meanwhile, military jets soared over Cairo blasting out smoke the colors of the flag, an apparent demonstration of military might.
In Slate, William J. Dobson and Tarek Masoud explain why Egypt’s generals have continued to detain Muslim Brotherhood officials despite international rebukes.
Original story, July 4: Cairo is calm one day after the military removed Egypt’s president, Mohamed Morsi, but the aftermath of the military action remained uncertain Thursday.
For now, Egypt’s chief justice, Adly Mansour, has been sworn in as the nation’s acting president, while Morsi and many of his senior aides remained in custody or under house arrest. Mansour is a political novice who became Egypt’s chief justice just last week as protests began to heat up. CNN has more on the little-known jurist, but in any case, the New York Times reports that he is widely seen as merely a figurehead. One activist described him as a military “employee.”
Mansour struck a conciliatory tone in his first remarks as president, but arrests of top Muslim Brotherhood officials continued. The Associated Press reported that the Brotherhood’s supreme leader, Mohammed Badie, was in custody Thursday.