TODAY   |  August 14, 2013

Scores dead in Egypt crackdown against protesters

Egypt’s capital has erupted in violence between pro-Morsi protesters and security officials, with many killed in the fighting. NBC’s Richard Engel reports.

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>> also breaking news in cairo where kurt forces stormed into a crowd of protestors loyal to that country's ousted president. the u.s. embassy there has been temporary closed. richard engle is in cairo , good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning, matt. the violence here is continuing after that government move against the protestors. there have been attacks on police stations , attacks on churches, government buildings . police in this country declared a state of emergency . the death toll so far remains unclear with with estimates ranging from a dozen to hundreds, that's the number given by the opposition. we have not been able to confirm that egyptian troops and police break up two camps by force. a final push to solidify a military take over six weeks agatha critics call a cue. supporters of the muslim brother hood stood their ground even as tents burned and tear gas filled the air. they regrouped and charged security forces backed by armored vehicles . between the two sides, the smallest of barricades and bashed wire.

>> security forces here are clearly using live ammunition and firing into the side streets . there are front line positions between protestors, security forces all over cairo and this one looks like it is about to get very ugly.

>> reporter: automatic gunfire crackled through the streets as more tear gas rained in. protestors hid behind buildings and used buses and whatever else they could for cover. the injured were carried away. and urban battles in one of the world's largest cities continued. the protestors say this is a fight for democracy. the government says it is putting down islamists who may have won elections but govern badly and isolated the country. now the united states must choose how to deal we i didn't want. the biggest country in the arab world and the heart of the middle east in an open state of civil unrest .

>> demonstrators today also pushed a government apc off of a bridge in downtown cairo . there were five soldiers inside. egypt cutoff train service to cairo in an effort to limit these protests and to prevent them from growing and from the violence from spreading, matt.

>> richard engle in the thick of it in cairo egypt this morning. thank you be