Police storm protest camps; 278 dead across Egypt

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian officials say the death toll has risen to 278 from violence that erupted when riot police shut down two encampments of supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi.

Government forces in armored vehicles, bulldozers and helicopters swept away the encampments, setting off running street battles in Cairo and other Egyptian cities.

Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and pro-reform leader in the interim government, resigned in protest over the assaults as the military-backed leadership imposed a monthlong state of emergency and nighttime curfew.

Clashes broke out elsewhere in the capital and other provinces as Islamist anger spread over the dispersal of the 6-week-old sit-ins by Morsi’s Islamist supporters that divided Egypt. Officials say Morsi supporters attacked 21 police stations and seven Coptic Christian churches across the nation.

It was the highest single day death toll since the 18-day uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The Health Ministry says 235 civilians were killed and more than 2,000 injured. The Interior Ministry says 43 policemen died in the assault.

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