The Rabaa war zone in Cairo — supported by U.S. military aid

Samer al-Atrush reports: The further the black-clad Egyptian policemen tightened the noose on the Rabaa al-Adawiya protest camp, the more desperate became the search for a place to lay out the protesters felled by their gunfire.

Amid a swarm of hissing bullets, two protesters barged into the garden of the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque compound in east Cairo, carrying a man whose face was masked in blood.

Others offered them directions to makeshift morgues. “Take a left.” “No, take a right.” They stumbled with their macabre burden, leaving behind smears of blood on bystanders. “Just leave him here,” one finally advised.

The morgue of the makeshift field hospital, in one of the small buildings in the mosque compound, had filled up with corpses soon after police and soldiers began their operation to clear the protest camp, after dawn on Wednesday.

Then the corpses, some with their brains shot out, encroached on the living in the nearby field clinic, in another building.

A bearded, elderly man was brought in breathing heavily, his brain partially revealed where a bullet had landed, and his eyes wide open as if in amazement.

“Say the shahada,” a man standing over him said, referring to the Muslim profession of faith. “I’m sure he already did,” another said, scrutinising the dying man’s face, who appeared unaware of his surroundings.

More and more dead kept being brought in, some with fresh blood pouring from their heads. Soon the field hospital became part morgue part clinic.

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