World Bulletin / News Desk
Nearly seven months since Egyptian forces violently evicted thousands of ousted president Mohamed Morsi's supporters from their protest camp at east Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya Square, Egyptians are still left guessing about the number of people killed in the bloody dispersal.
On August 15, 2013, the Egyptian Health Ministry said 288 people were killed in the Rabaa dispersal.
On September 13, 2013, the Forensic Medicine Authority spokesman Hesham Abdel-Hamid said 333 people were killed in the dispersal, including 52 people whose identities were not recognized. Abdel-Hamid said the death toll included seven policemen.
On November 5, 2013, the Forensic Medicine Authority wrote in an official statement that 377 people were killed in Rabaa, including 31 people whose identities were not recognized.
On March 4, 2014, army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi told a graduation ceremony of military cadets that 312 people were killed in the sit-in eviction.
A day later, the state-run National Council for Human Rights said 632 people, including eight policemen, were killed in the sit-in dispersal.
On March 6, 2014, Assistant Interior Minister for Media Affairs Abdel-Fattah Osman said in press statements that the Rabaa death toll was less than the figure mentioned by the National Council for Human Rights in its report. He, however, did not give an exact toll.
But Egyptian authorities were not the only one giving different death tolls of the Rabaa dispersal.
On August 15, 2013, the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, the main support bloc of Morsi, said 2,600 people were killed during the Rabaa sit-in dispersal.
The same figure was given by the Rabaa sit-in field hospital.
Estimates by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including Mohamed al-Beltgi and Essam al-Erian, put the death toll at nearly 3,000 people.
Other Muslim Brotherhood leaders had suggested the death toll was as high as 5,000.
The Revolution Wiki website said 904 demonstrators and seven policemen were killed during the Rabaa dispersal.
On August 16, 2013, Amnesty International wrote in a statement that more than 600 people were killed in the sit-in eviction after policemen used lethal and unjustified force.
On August 20, 2013, Human Rights Watch described the Rabaa dispersal as the single biggest incident of mass killing in Egypt's recent history, putting the death toll at 337 people.
Nabil Helmi, a former member of the National Council for Human Rights, blamed the different death tolls on the chaos that espoused the sit-in dispersal.
"You cannot talk about a specific and accurate estimate," Helmi told Anadolu Agency Thursday.
"Some families had refused to send the bodies of their slain relatives to morgues and hospitals, while there have been reports of burning bodies," he added.
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