Death Toll Rises as Egypt Clears Pro-Morsi Camps

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The death toll climbed in Egypt Wednesday as riot police moved in with armored cars and bulldozers to clear camps filled with people clamouring to reinstate ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

From the air and the ground, Egyptian security forces fired tear gas into two sprawling camps on opposite sides of Cairo early Wednesday.

There are reports that 25 protesters were killed in the early morning raid. But Muslim Brotherhood leaders claim they lost at least 120 people.

It's the latest chapter in months of turmoil in the country.

In July, after an estimated 33 million Egyptians staged massive protests calling on Morsi to step down, the military intervened. The Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters responded with sit-ins, establishing two massive camps in Cairo.

One camp has its own restaurants, barber shops, and a fully functioning hospital, stocked with millions of dollars' worth of donated equipment.

"We are here. We will stay here. We will stand here," said Dr. Yahya Makkeyah, chief of the camp's hospital staff.

The site has been home to thousands of Morsi supporters for more than a month. They have simply ignored orders from the interim government, which promised to dismantle the camps if protesters wouldn't leave on their own.

But a defiant spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood insisted "It's not about proving our point."

"We proved our point a long time ago," Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El Haddad said. "It's about teaching the army a lesson. You do not belong on the political scene. You do not have the right to choose sides."

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