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Chaos reigns supreme in Egypt

Reports suggest Egyptian security forces have killed over 200 Morsi protesters.

Supporters of Egypt's ousted president Mohammed Morsi take part in a sit-in protest outside the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo on August 12, 2013. Picture: AFP

CAIRO/TEL AVIV/PRETORIA - Egyptian security forces have killed over 200 people as they began an operation to clear protesters demanding the reinstatement of deposed President Mohamed Morsi.

While the Muslim Brotherhood's putting the death toll at more than 200, the government has denied this.

Thousands of Morsi supporters have staged sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adawiya mosque and Nahda Square since he was deposed in the 3 July coup.

This morning, Egyptian authorities moved in on two massive makeshift camps that Morsi's supporters had set-up.

They fired tear gas, smashed down tents and reportedly used live ammunition.

But it's still unclear exactly what happened.

Authorities say they have to break up the sit-ins because it was disrupting daily life in Cairo.

One witness said he saw 15 bodies at a field hospital beside the camp where bulldozers cleared the protesters' tents.

The bulldozers are continuing with their work. They are demolishing tents while security forces are forcing people out of the squares.

Muslim Brotherhood leaders are appealing to supporters to remain and not leave. Many of them are setting car tyres alight. Police helicopters are hovering above.

The government says it has arrested Brotherhood leaders and is detaining them in unknown places.

Meanwhile, the Brotherhood in Sinai and other regions are attacking police cars where they have also set at least one building on fire.

The state news agency said security forces had started implementing a phased plan to disperse the protesters, which is almost certain to deepen political turmoil in Egypt.

On the other side of Cairo, smoke could be seen rising above the Nahda Sqaure protest camp after security forces moved in to disperse protesters.

Teargas floated over both sites and gun shots were heard.

More than 300 people have already died in political violence since the army overthrew Morsi.

The protesters say they won't move until Morsi is reinstated.

For many watching the violence unfold, there is a fear that what happens today will determine the course of the Egyptian revolution.

Morsi became Egypt's first freely elected leader in June 2012, but failed to tackle deep economic dissatisfaction and worried many Egyptians with his apparent efforts to tighten Islamist rule.

*Additional reporting by Reuters

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