15 dramatic photos tell the story of a momentous week in Egypt’s history

One week ago, Egypt was led by President Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist and close ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, as perhaps millions of protesters demanded his removal. Today, after a very long and tumultuous week, the military appears to be in charge, having deposed Morsi and replaced him with the constitutional court chief. Violence has gone from bad to very bad, with military troops opening fire on a pro-Morsi protest, killing 51 people and injuring 300. You can follow latest updates from Egypt on our live blog.

Here is the story of the past week, told in 14 photographs and in the composite image below (for more on the composite, click here) :

A composite photo, taken by a photography instructor, shows anti-Morsi protests in Alexandria on June 30. (Alaa El Basha)

June 30: Mass protests against Morsi

Huge numbers of Egyptians protested in Cairo and other cities to mark one year since Morsi, a former Muslim Brotherhood official, took office. The protesters insisted he step down. Demonstrations in Alexandria were captured in the composite photo above. Many other photos showed what appeared to be hundreds of thousands of protesters in Cairo.

Egyptian army helicopters fly over anti-Morsi protests in Cairo on July 1. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)

July 1: Military issues ultimatum

Egypt's powerful and popular military issued a statement that warned both Morsi and the protesters that they had 48 hours to resolve their differences before the generals would put forth their own plan. Though it was not clear what they were threatening to do, many took it as a threat of deposing Morsi. Protesters announced they would stay in the streets until the deadline. Some Egyptian army helicopters flew over the protests and dropped national flags, as shown above, which was taken by many as a show of support.

Screenshot from Al Jazeera English shows President Morsi addressing the country on July 2.

Morsi supporters, preparing to clash with opposition protesters, hold sticks and wear protective gear on July 2. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)


July 2: Morsi is defiant

Morsi made a defiant speech on state TV refusing to step down. He insisted, as he and his supporters long have said, that his democratic election as president was proof of his legitimacy and that his resignation would be a step back for Egyptian democracy. As many critics pointed out, this ignored the degree to which Morsi's government has taken anti-democratic short cuts and excluded non-Islamists. Morsi's supporters clashed with protesters, fighting that killed perhaps 23 people.

Screenshot of Egyptian state TV video of defense minister al-Sissi announcing the end of Morsi's presidency.

Protesters in Tahrir Square respond to news that the military has removed Morsi with celebratory fireworks on July 3. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

July 3: The military coup

Morsi's defense minister, Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, went on state TV to announce that the constitution was suspended and that Morsi had been replaced with the chief justice of the constitutional court until elections could be held. Anti-Morsi protesters cheered the decision but many of the president's supporters took to the streets. According to a U.S. law, President Obama is required to cut aid to countries where a democratically elected president is toppled by a coup. Many in and outside of Egypt immediately began debating whether Wednesday's events count as a coup, whether they circumvent democracy or protect it and, separately, whether they are good or bad for Egypt.

Morsi supporters rally in his support at Raba Al Adawiya mosque on July 4. (MAHMOUD KHALED/AFP/Getty Images)

Egypt's chief justice Adly Mansour, center, is applauded by by chiefs of the constitutional court after he is sworn in as the nation's interim president on July 4. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

July 4: Crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood, interim president sworn in

The Egyptian army arrested several key figures in the Muslim Brotherhood, deepening fears that the military was again targeting the Islamist movement it had helped to keep down during decades of former president Hosni Mubarak's rule. Large numbers of pro-Morsi protesters dug in at the Raba Al Adawiya mosque, preparing to fight it out. The interim president, constitutional court chief justice Adly Mansour, was sworn in.

Egyptian military vehicles cross the Kasr el-Nile bridge in Cairo on July 5. (EPA/ANDRE PAIN)

Supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi perform a prayer near Rabaa Adawiya mosque on July 5. (EPA/MOHAMMED SABER)

Supporters and opponents of Mohamed Morsi clash in Cairo, on July 5, 2013. (Hassan Ammar/AP)

July 5: Widespread clashes

Morsi supporters gathered outside the Republican Guards headquarters in Cairo, where they believed Morsi was being held. In one incident, video of which circulated widely, a pro-Morsi protester was shot in the head by troops guarding the building and was killed.

Protesters in Cairo carry the coffins of fellow demonstrators killed in clashes. (MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)

Anti-Morsi protesters hold signs against President Obama in Tahrir Square on July 7. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)

July 6 and 7: Violence worsens

Morsi supporters and Egyptian security forces continued to clash, killing dozens and wounding hundreds. The country has increasingly divided between those who backed Morsi and fear the military versus those who opposed Morsi and fear the Muslim Brotherhood. Both sides have accused the other of being secret pawns of the United States.

Morsi supporters pray in front of barbed wire fencing that blocks the access to the headquarters of the Republican Guard in Cairo on July 8. (MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)

Egyptian army soldiers take their positions near armored vehicles to guard the entrances of Tahrir square on July 8, 2013. (Hassan Ammar/AP)

July 8: Military opens fire on pro-Morsi protesters, killing 51

The military insisted it was being attacked, while members of the crowd say they were shot at without warning during or just after morning prayer, outside the Republican Guards headquarters. Five children were among the dead. The political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood called for a national uprising against the military in response. "The shooting came from everywhere," a young subway cleaner who was at the scene said. The country is even more politically divided than before.



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Max Fisher · July 8, 2013