Calgary

Deadly violence in Cairo shocks Egyptian student in Calgary

An Egyptian man studying in Calgary says the deadly violence in Cairo has saddened and disappointed him.

Egyptian Canadians gather in front of Calgary City Hall to protest

Osama Refai, an Egyptian PhD student in Calgary, talks about the violence in his home country. 2:41

An Egyptian man studying in Calgary says the deadly violence in Cairo has saddened and disappointed him.

Members of the Egyptians army walk among the smoldering remains of the largest protest camp of supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi. (Ahmed Gomaa/AP Photo)

The death toll has passed 600 since security forces started to clear out several camps occupied by supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi on Wednesday.  

The military leadership has imposed a state of national emergency as running street battles spread through Cairo and other Egyptian cities.  

Osama Refai, a PhD student at the University of Calgary, said the state of emergency demonstrates that the military leadership is losing control of the country.

"The silencing of every voice, trying to get control of people … this is a pure textbook military coup. It's a military rule," he said.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird issued a statement urging both parties to avoid violence, and engage in a meaningful political dialogue.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's office released a statement that condemned "in the strongest terms the violence today in Cairo that occurred when Egyptian security services used force to clear Cairo of sit-ins and demonstrations."

A statement from the White House extended condolences to the families of those who were killed or injured and said the U.S. "strongly condemns" the use of violence against protesters in Egypt.

Calgary protest

Egyptian Canadians gathered in front of Calgary city hall today to draw attention to what is happening in their homeland.

Protesters gathered in Calgary today to draw attention to what is happening in their homeland. (CBC)

Police in that country have been given the go ahead to use deadly force to protect themselves and state institutions.

Mohamed Hassanin was at the Calgary demonstration.

"Here we are just trying to show our support for these Egyptian people, and to tell them we're with you guys and to keep on going," he said.

Hassanin says they are joining in the protests that call for the return of the democratic president, the constitution and the senate.

"What the military is doing right now is inhumane and is basically using all their force to try and dismantle these peaceful protests," he said.