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Egypt has declared state of emergency after scores of people were killed when security forces stormed pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo.

The camps had been occupied by supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi, who was deposed in early July.

The health ministry says 149 people have been killed. But the Muslim Brotherhood, which was behind the protests, says more than 2,000 died.

The state of emergency is scheduled to last for a month.

It imposes a curfew in Cairo and several other provinces between 19:00 local time and 06:00.

The measure was taken because the “security and order of the nation face danger due to deliberate sabotage, and attacks on public and private buildings and the loss of life by extremist groups,” the presidency said in a statement.

In the wake of the violence, Vice-President Mohammed El Baradei has announced his resignation from the interim government.

Armored bulldozers moved deep into the main protest camp outside Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque shortly after dawn on Wednesday morning.

Officials say another protest camp, at Nahda Square, has been cleared and a mopping-up operation in the surrounding streets was under way.

Reporters described wounded protesters being treated next to the dead in makeshift field hospitals.

The 17-year-old daughter of leading Muslim Brotherhood figure Mohamed el-Beltagy was among the dead, reports say. Asmaa el-Beltagy was shot in the back and chest, her brother said.

A cameraman working for Sky News, Mick Deane, has also been killed – as has a reporter for Gulf News, Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz.

Egypt has declared state of emergency after scores of people were killed when security forces stormed pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo

Egypt has declared state of emergency after scores of people were killed when security forces stormed pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo

The White House condemned the bloodshed, saying it “runs directly counter to the pledges by the interim government to pursue reconciliation”.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged “all Egyptians to concentrate their efforts on promoting genuinely inclusive reconciliation”, his spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

There are also reports of unrest elsewhere in Egypt.

  • About 35 people have died in clashes in the province of Fayoum, south of Cairo, Reuters news agency says.
  • At least five people have been killed in the province of Suez, according to the health ministry.
  • Clashes have also been reported in the northern provinces of Alexandria and Beheira, and the central provinces of Assiut and Menya
  • Hundreds are said to have gathered outside the governor’s office in Aswan in the south
  • State news agency Mena says three churches were attacked, one in the city of Sohag with a large number of Coptic Christian residents

It is still unclear how many casualties were caught up in the two Cairo operations. Figures differ widely and have been impossible to verify independently.

The health ministry has issued an official death toll of 95.

The interior ministry earlier denied any deaths were caused by its forces firing live ammunition.

“Security forces used only tear gas canisters to disperse the protesters though it was heavily fired at by armed elements from inside the two protest camps, causing the death of an officer and a conscript and the injury of four policemen and two conscripts,” the ministry said in a statement.

The government had congratulated the security forces on their operation.

In a televised statement, a government spokesman praised their “self-restraint” and spoke of the “smaller number” of injuries among protesters.

The government would decisively confront attempts to attack state buildings and police stations, he said.

Supporters of Mohamed Morsi have been occupying Nahda Square and the Rabaa al-Adawiya site since he was ousted on July 3. They want him reinstated.

Large plumes of smoke rose over parts of the city as the operation to clear the camps began, with tear gas canisters fired and helicopters hovering above.

Muslim Brotherhood TV called for people to send cars to the sit-ins to take casualties to hospital.

Several Muslim Brotherhood figures have been arrested, security sources said.

There has been strong international reaction to the storming of the camps.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told a news conference that the administration had repeatedly urged the Egyptian military and security forces to show restraint, and strongly opposed the declaration of a state of emergency.

The European Union called the reports of deaths and injuries “extremely worrying”.

A statement issued on behalf of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said: “We reiterate that violence won’t lead to any solution and we urge the Egyptian authorities to proceed with utmost restraint.”

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the result of the camp clearances as a massacre, accused other countries of paving the way for the violence by staying silent, and called for the UN and the Arab League to act immediately.

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Turkish riot police have moved to clear the protest camp in Istanbul’s Gezi Park, using tear gas and water cannon.

Police began dismantling the tents that protesters had put up in the park.

The move came hours after PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned protesters to evacuate the area ahead of a rally by his AK party on Sunday.

Plans to redevelop the park sparked a wave of broader anti-government unrest and protesters had vowed to stay there until their demands were met.

In a show of overwhelming force, police advanced into the park wearing riot shields and gas marks.

Most of the protesters left of their own accord to avoid getting hurt, with some regrouping in nearby streets.

Local residents took to their balconies or leant out of windows banging pots and pans, while car drivers sounded their horns in support of the protesters, Reuters news agency reports.

Some of the protesters were reportedly receiving medical attention, several of them retreating into a nearby hotel.

Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu said 29 people had been injured in the raid, but none seriously.

Huseyin Avni Mutlu said only “marginal groups” had remained in the park.

“I won’t give up,” protester May Elbi told AFP.

“We’re angry, this is not over. The world has seen that together, we can stand up to Tayyip.”

There have been reports of fresh confrontations in Istanbul after the clearing of the park, with police again using tear gas to disperse protesters.

In the capital Ankara, thousands of people came out onto the streets to chant anti-government slogans.

Turkish riot police have moved to clear the protest camp in Istanbul's Gezi Park, using tear gas and water cannon

Turkish riot police have moved to clear the protest camp in Istanbul’s Gezi Park, using tear gas and water cannon

Earlier, in a speech in Ankara, Recep Tayyip Erdogan told tens of thousands of AK party supporters: “If Taksim Square is not evacuated, this country’s security forces will know how to evacuate it.”

“Staying there [in Gezi Park] makes no sense anymore as the matter is now in the hands of the courts,” he told tens of thousands of cheering supporters.

“Nobody can intimidate us. We take no orders or instruction from anyone but God,” the prime minister added.

He also dismissed the wave of demonstrations as part of an organized plot against him.

One protest group responded to Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s speech by calling for another mass rally in Taksim Square. Istanbul is also set to host an AK party rally on Sunday,

On May 31, a crackdown on environmentalists in Gezi Park provoked protests across Turkey against the police’s actions and against Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

On Saturday, the protesters vowed to stay there, despite a promise by Recep Tayyip Erdogan to halt the development plan for the park until a court ruling on the issue.

Last month, an Istanbul court issued an initial injunction against the plan to cut down trees in the park to make way for a shopping centre and replica 18th-Century military barracks. The government has appealed against the ruling.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s offer was presented as a major concession. But after discussions in Gezi Park on Friday night, the protesters said their movement was more than just a conservation protest and vowed to stay on.

Five people have died and thousands have been injured since the protests began.

Demonstrators have accused Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government of becoming increasingly authoritarian and of trying to impose conservative Islamic values on a secular state.

The police crackdown on protesters in Istanbul, Ankara, and other towns and cities has drawn international concern, especially from Europe.

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Tens of thousands of people have protested in capital Madrid and in a number of Spanish cities to mark the first anniversary of the “Indignants” movement.

In central Madrid, many protesters occupying Puerta del Sol square ignored a midnight deadline to disperse.

However, by 05:00 a.m. on Sunday police had mainly evicted them.

Indignants movement was formed out of anger at the impact of Spain’s deepest economic crisis in decades. Unemployment hit a record high in April.

The centre-right government has recently announced fresh austerity measures.

The turnout in Madrid was huge and would certainly have met organizers’ expectations.

Spanish authorities had said they wanted the protesters to disperse by midnight local time but many ignored the time limit.

Tens of thousands of people have protested in capital Madrid and in a number of Spanish cities to mark the first anniversary of the "Indignants" movement

Tens of thousands of people have protested in capital Madrid and in a number of Spanish cities to mark the first anniversary of the "Indignants" movement

Police vans eventually moved in and appeared to have cleared protesters from the square. The atmosphere in other parts of the city centre was reported to be tense on Sunday morning but there were no reports of violence.

“Today’s goal is to recover the public spaces,” protester Sofia Ruiz earlier told Reuters.

“It is also a way to celebrate that we have been existing for one year and that we are going to be there until the system changes or we are listened to and they take into account our claims,” she added.

Last year the Indignants established a protest camp in Puerta del Sol, but the authorities had vowed they would prevent any protesters from staying overnight in the square.

There were some 2,000 riot police on duty.

At least 45,000 people also took to the streets in Barcelona, police said, although organizers put the attendance in the hundreds of thousands.

One protester there, Jose Helmandez, said he was a genetics and molecular biology doctor but had been unable to find a job in his field.

“A lot of people are leaving the country to find work, even if they end up not doing something they are qualified to do,” he said.

“I was living in France but returned to Spain almost two years ago, and all I can find are short-term jobs.”

Some have criticized the movement for having little impact on Spanish politics over the past year.

The government of conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, elected last November, has introduced budget cuts and tax rises.

Mariano Rajoy has also announced deregulation of the labor market, angering Spanish unions.

“This is a long-distance race, no-one can change an entire political system in one day or one year, it takes time,” Noelia Moreno, a former spokeswoman for the Indignants movement in Madrid, told AFP news agency.

Similar protests took place in other cities in Spain and across the world as part of a global day of action, some of them staged by the Occupy movement:

• In London, hundreds of protesters gathered outside St Paul’s Cathedral, where a protest camp was removed in February. A number of people were arrested

• Smaller protests, numbering in the hundreds, have taken place in the Portuguese capital Lisbon and in Germany’s financial centre, Frankfurt

• Around 1,000 marchers converged in Tel Aviv to protest about the cost of living, with marches also reported in other Israeli cities

Meanwhile, in the latest attack on symbols of Italy’s austerity policies, a tax office has been firebombed in the city of Livorno. No-one was hurt.

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