Editor's note: "For The Record" will be airing an in-depth documentary on the Egyptian crisis on Aug.22, on The Blaze TV network.
While meeting with producers with The Blaze TV's For The Record, a documentary news magazine, residents living in Cairo provided real time updates by phone and via twitter as the deadly clashes between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and the Egyptian military deteriorated into bloodshed.
More than 60 people were killed Friday and thousands have been injured throughout Cairo as rioters, many of whom are armed with weapons, spent another day protesting the actions of the Egyptian military this week against Muslim Brotherhood supporters. Those supporters accuse the Egyptian military of ransacking their camps and killing innocent protesters, according to news reports and eye witness accounts.
A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and of ousted president Mohamed Morsi takes cover during clashes with security officers clsoe to Cairo's Ramses Square, on August 16, 2013. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
Many Egyptian residents, however, told The Blaze its members of the Muslim Brotherhood that have escalated the violence in Egypt and not just the Egyptian army. They said supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood are brandishing automatic weapons, putting women and children in harms way at camp sites and garnering support from outside extremist groups, including Al Qaeda factions in North Africa.
The first report came to For The Record at 10:40 a.m. eastern time, from Mohammed, a leader of an opposition group that worked to remove now ousted Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi from power. He described members of the Muslim Brotherhood walking through Ramsis Square, only several miles northeast from Tahrir Square, carrying AK-47s and shooting them into the crowds. Mohammed described the situation as dire and said members of the Muslim Brotherhood were instigating much of the violence.
CAIRO, EGYPT - AUGUST 16: An Egyptian military helicopter flies over central Cairo during fighting near Ramses Square on August 16, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. Credit: Getty Images
Barbara Lethem Ibrahim, the wife of Saad Eddin Ibrahim, a prominent Egyptian human rights activist and scholar who was imprisoned in 2000 after speaking out against deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubark, told The Blaze by phone from her home Cairo that members of the Muslim Brotherhood "are purposefully putting women and children into the camps they are setting up on the streets of Cairo."
She said the group's protests over the past 49 days have left the people of Cairo, who already suffer from economic hardships, with limited access to airports and transportation. She said businesses in the city are also suffering.
"The Egyptian people must stop looking for a savior," she said. "What they need right now is a good manager. This interim government is doing the best they can with what they have. This is the best Egypt has had in a long time."
She said on Thursday that many neighborhoods in Cairo refused to let members of the Muslim Brotherhood set up camps after days of violence that left more than 600 people dead and thousands injured.
"The fact that many neighborhoods don't want the pro-Morsi supporters in them is a good sign," she said. "But there has been so much death and I fear this won't end anytime soon."
For the Record also spoke with several Americans living in Cairo on Friday, who work with a transnational corporation. They asked that their identities and company not be revealed out of concern for their safety and the safety of other U.S. citizens in the city.
"It's complete mayhem," said an American corporate worker living in Cairo. "Everybody's scared sh***less."
Another U.S. citizen living in Cairo told us that he was watching Sky News British television as the events unfolded only miles from his home.“I am watching Sky News now," the U.S. citizen said. "We are watching, what appears to be Muslim Brothers or MB sympathizers on the Ramsis Square bridge. They are brandishing weapons, AK 47s and the military is returning fire from helicopters.”
Yet, another American employee with the same company said the Muslim Brotherhood is targeting Christian churches."They are not hiding the fact that Christians, churches, schools are all targets," he said.
"They have made it clear they want to kill Christians. I’m surprised there isn’t more outrage coming from America,” the American added. More than 100,000 Coptic Christians have fled Egypt since Morsi was elected president out of fear for their lives.
Mohammed, who also led a petition against Morsi, recalled that over the past several days he would find himself walking over his dead countrymen and fearing that the situation would only get worse," he added. "On Friday, the violence escalated once again and he said more than "28 Muslim Brotherhood groups were marching in (Ramsis) square."
"I've seen more than 40 people die, I'm losing friends and seeing death in the streets," he said, describing his own close call with death on Thursday when he was almost struck by a bullet.
The Muslim Brotherhood "is spraying machine gun fire toward the opposition crowds," Mohamed added as he watched the rioting intensify on Friday.
U.S. Officials are keeping a close watch on Egypt as the situation continues to escalate and on Thursday House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce told The Blaze that the U.S. needs to use it's leverage to promote a democracy to protect all Egyptians.
Royce questioned the administration's response Thursday to the Egyptian crisis, telling The Blaze, President Obama failed to call out Morsi last year when he shut down non-governemental organizations, overrode the Egyptian courts by giving himself extensive executive powers and attempted to install a majority of Muslim Brotherhood supporters into the government.
"The U.S. should use what leverage we have to promote a democracy that protects and respects all Egyptians," Royce said. "The Administration didn’t do that when Morsi was president. Step one now is encouraging political dialogue among deeply divided Egyptians. Egypt policy should be under constant review.”