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Egyptian scenes described as massacre

Conflicting reports reveal the death count as being anywhere between 95 and 2,000.

FILE: A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi demonstrates on 16 July, 2013 in the centre of Cairo.Picture:AFP

TEL AVIV - Journalists on the ground in Egypt have described scenes resembling a massacre as bloody clashes between supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and security forces continue there.

A month-long state of emergency has now been declared in the country amid calls for restraint and outright condemnation from the United Nations and the White House, which has called for immediate peace talks.

Further, a curfew will be in place between 7 pm and 6 am in 11 of the country's 27 provinces, including Suez.

A presidential statement says the exceptional measures are in response to acts of deliberate sabotage and attacks on public and private buildings.

Interim president Adly Mansour says he's tasked the armed forces, in cooperation with police, to take "all necessary measures" to maintain security and order.

Security forces have moved in on protesters in Cairo camps demanding the reinstatement of Morsi.

CONFLICTING REPORTS

Violence and unrest have continued throughout Wednesday and, with conflicting reports emerging from the opposing sides, it is still not clear what exactly has happened there.

There are still conflicting reports about the death toll, with the latest statement by officials within Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood claiming 200 of his supporters have been killed and as many as 8,000 injured.

Earlier today, however, other Brotherhood officials said as many as 2,000 had been killed.

But the government's Health Ministry has only confirmed 95 deaths.

Meanwhile, four journalists have also died during the escalating violence, including a Sky News cameraman.

Speaking to CNN, spokesman for the official Egyptian opposition Khaled Dawoud says the violence will only end once the Brotherhood respects the will of the country's citizens.

"We've seen attempts to occupy and burn headquarters of governments. That cannot be a peaceful group and that's the biggest part of the problem; that they did not listen to Egyptians who came out on June 30 and told them we want to go back to the ballot box."

Security forces reportedly fired tear gas, smashed down tents and allegedly used live ammunition.

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

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

The Brotherhood's leadership has urged its supporters to stay on the streets and thousands have begun moving to a square in Giza to stage another sit-in.

EGYPT'S FUTURE AT STAKE

Meanwhile, make-shift medical centres are struggling to cope with the injured while police continue dragging away protestors who refuse to disband.

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.

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

Meanwhile, the Brotherhood in Sinai and other regions have been attacking police cars 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.

Before Wednesday, more than 300 people had already died in violence since the army overthrew Morsi.

For many watching the violence unfold on Wednesday, there is a fear that what has been happening 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