- (Photo: REUTERS / David McNew)
The Egyptian Cabinet has expressed its frustration over the horrific death toll stemming from the clashes on Wednesday and urged those who participated in the sit-ins to return to the "national conscience."
It stressed the need for a halt to the bloodshed and called on the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters to end the current violence.
In a statement Wednesday, the cabinet called on the Muslim Brotherhood leaders to stop harming national security and demanded they bear responsibility for the bloodshed and current rioting witnessed in the country.
"The government will strictly confront attempts to attack public property, police stations or the vital businesses owned by the Egyptian people," the statement read. "[The government] warns that it will use different means to arrest those involved in such actions to protect the people's property."
The government stressed its keenness to ensure the rights of the Egyptian people to express their opinions peacefully in the framework of the law while protecting the freedom of others and the security of the Egyptian community.
Supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi have been rioting throughout Egyptian governorates since security forces broke up the sit-in at Rabaa el-Adaweya and Nahda squares. The sit-in were dismantled at 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning. The attacks were focused on police stations, churches and Christian homes, particularly in the Upper Egypt governorates, such as Minya.
Islamists broke into Virgin Mary and Father Ibraam Monastery in Degla village. They set fire to three churches and six services buildings, and marched in the village chanting against the Copts. Some were seen surrounding their homes and assaulting Copts with stones given the lack of security present. The crowd also set fire to a church services building that was part of the Mar Mina el-Agaby Church in the southern part of the province. They also reportedly attacked the Evangelical Baptist church in Beni Mazar.