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Update on Crisis in Egypt

At least 24 Islamic prisoners died in Egypt during a transfer to a prison outside of Cairo. 

The interior ministry originally claimed the men were killed during an attack from unidentified gunmen, but later changed its story to say they died trying to escape.  These are just the latest deaths in a bloody week of clashes following the government's decision to break up protests.  Ko Im has the latest from Washington, D.C.

Egypt's military is stepping up its crackdown of anti- government protestors.  Army troops are in the streets in force and police are arresting anyone violating the overnight curfew.  

General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi told the country he will not tolerate any more violence. "We will not stand by silently, watching the destruction of the country and the people."

General Sisi added that the army has no interest in maintaining control of the country and that more than 800 have been killed in clashes between security forces and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.  

The government claims the protestors are terrorists trying to bring down the country.  The protestors say the army staged a coup d'etat overthrowing the legitimately elected president. 

As the death toll in Egypt mounts so does the pressure from Capitol Hill.  More and more Congressmen are calling on President Obama to cut off aid to Egypt. But the President retains support among some Congressman who say the Egyptian military is necessary because it keeps the peace with Israel and provides safe passage through the Suez Canal.

Peter King says "there are no good choices in Egypt.  The fact is, theres no good guys there.  But of the two, I think there is more opportunity to protect American interests if we work with the military."

The US sends roughly 1.5 billion dollars to Egypt each year with nearly all of it going directly to the military.

The European Union is also considering a suspension of aid to Egypt.  European Foreign Ministers say they will decide this week what to do with the nearly seven billion dollars in grants and loans promised for Egypt.

 

 

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