FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – Tension, Friday, in Egypt has led to the deaths of at least 64 people, including eight police officers. Tens of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters clashed with civilians, police and troops in the fiercest street battles to engulf the capital since the country’s Arab Spring uprising.
The fighting prompted a number of US companies to shut down operations overseas.
General Motors Co., Electrolux AB, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Heineken N.V., Toyota Motor Corp., Suzuki Motor Corp., BASF SE and others shut down facilities and told thousands of workers to stay at home.
At least 700 people have been killed in violence that continues to rage after riot police razed two Cairo encampments where supporters of President Mohammed Morsi were protesting his ouster.
Morsi was deposed by the military on July 3 after months of protests against his rule.
At the St. John the Baptist Coptic Orthodox Church in Miramar on Friday, Gilene Nessim told me that her family has been visiting South Florida for the past few weeks. But before they left Egypt she said they attended a rally with millions of others asking the Egyptian military to remove the Muslim Brotherhood from power.
“Please, act,” she said. “Egypt is falling apart. We had to get rid of them. The economy was going nowhere. Tourists were being kidnapped. We have no tourists whatsoever.”
Nessim says the majority of Egyptians support the military’s efforts to restore democracy to Egypt. At the church, leaders and parishioners shared her feelings about the Muslim Brotherhood.
“We are concerned but at the same time we are relieved that this regime is not coming back,” said Father Timothy Solimon.
“They didn’t go through this revolution in order for it to be hijacked once more and taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood,” said Dr. Emad Ekladios.
The U.S. government cancelled military exercises with Egypt over the violence and several European governments have criticized the military’s actions.
But Gilene Nessim says she is anxious to return home and is confident that her country can move past the bloodshed.
“We have civilization,” she said. “We have history. We have people who love each other. This is going to pass.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.