The Egyptian authorities unleashed a ferocious attack on Islamist protesters today (July 27, 2013), killing at least 56 people in the second mass killing of demonstrators in three weeks and one of the deadliest attacks since Egypt's revolution in early 2011, the New York Times website reports.
Police officers joined by civilians fired live ammunition at supporters of the former president, Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted by the military three weeks ago.
The attack -- in which some victims were killed with gunshot wounds to the head -- appeared to offer further proof that Egypt's new leaders were widening their crackdown on Morsi's Islamist allies in the Muslim Brotherhood and suggested that Egypt's security services felt no need to show any restraint.
With hundreds of people gravely wounded, the toll seemed likely to surpass the more than 60 deaths on July 8, when soldiers and police officers fired on pro-Morsi demonstrators. The killings came one day after hundreds of thousands of Egyptians marched in support of the military after its commander called for mass demonstrations to give him a "mandate" to fight terrorism.