Chaos has yet again erupted in Egypt, where government forces stormed two sprawling pro-Morsi sit-ins early this morning, killing an unknown number of people and sparking violent clashes across the country that are expected to bring with them even more deaths.
Egypt's Health Ministry originally put the day's nationwide death toll at 60, although hours later revised that number to at least 140 deaths, with more than 1,400 others wounded. Reports from the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party—the party of ousted president Mohamed Morsi—meanwhile, claims those numbers are much higher. The group, which has been known to exaggerate figures in the past, says that at least 200 Morsi supporters have been killed and more than 8,000 injured. Here's the Washington Post with a snapshot from this morning's early action:
Black-clad riot police and plainclothes men in flak jackets moved into the camps at about 7 a.m., confronting protesters with a barrage of tear gas, and then gunfire, as armored vehicles plowed through tents.
Plumes of black smoke rose from the Rabaa al-Adawiya encampment, and the sting of tear gas filled the side streets around the sit-in, where security force opened fire on civilian spectators. Some of the security forces moved through the streets carrying assault rifles and wearing black face masks to conceal their identities. A police officer ordered journalists to leave the area or be shot.
The attacks set off retaliatory clashes and protest marches. Crowds of Morsi supporters marched toward eastern Cairo in the late morning, running into a barrage of gunfire as they confronted police lines. Others clashed with anti-Islamist civilians in other areas of the capital, and in the cities of Alexandria, Suez and Aswan.
Egypt's interim government declared a month-long state of emergency beginning at 4 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET), according to Reuters. The government is also hoping to impose a curfew in several major cities including Cairo from 7 p.m. tonight until 6 a.m. tomorrow. It's unclear if that will help bring the situation under control. "I think what we're seeing right now is just the beginning of what is promising to be a very, very long and bloody battle as the interim government and the security forces try to regain control of the streets," CNN's Arwa Damon reported from Cairo. Meanwhile, Mohammed ElBaradei is said to have resigned as vice president of foreign affairs.
This post has been updated with additional information as it became available.