MENAFN - The Peninsula
75 more killed in Egypt violence
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Backers of Egypt's ousted president Mohammed Mursi pledged to stage daily demonstrations as they ended a day of angry protests in which at least 75 people were killed yesterday.
The announcement came with Egypt already reeling from the deaths of 578 people on Wednesday when police cleared protest camps set up by loyalists of the deposed Islamist leader.
Egypt's cabinet issued a defiant statement, saying it was confronting a "terrorist plot".
In Jordan, Morocco, the Palestinian territories and Turkey, meanwhile, hundreds joined demonstrations in support of Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood movement.
The call to end the day's demonstrations came shortly after a night-time curfew went into effect.
"Today's rallies end with evening and night prayers (at about 1800 GMT), and will be followed by funeral prayers," Anti-Coup Alliance spokesman Gehad El Haddad said.
But he said the group of Mursi loyalists would hold "daily anti-coup rallies" going forward.
Hours earlier, the group's supporters emerged from mosques in the capital and elsewhere for "Friday of anger" protests.
Violence erupted almost immediately, with gunshots ringing out in Cairo and security forces firing tear gas.
In the capital, a man leapt off a bridge near a police station to escape shooting as police armoured vehicles advanced on protesters, witnesses said.
A correspondent counted at least 19 bodies in one Cairo mosque, while witnesses said more than 20 corpses had been laid out in a second mosque.
Security sources and the health ministry reported at least 31 dead, including four in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya and another eight in northern Damietta.
The Muslim Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice party, spoke of 130 killed in Cairo alone.
Men armed with automatic weapons appeared to be taking part in the Cairo protests. At Ramses Square, journalists saw three men carrying guns; protesters cheered when cars carrying gunmen arrived, another witness said.
Egyptian state media has hardened its rhetoric against the Brotherhood - which ruled Egypt for a year until the army removed Mursi on July 3 - invoking language used to describe militant groups such as Al Qaeda and suggesting there is little hope of a political resolution to the crisis.
"Egypt fighting terrorism," said a logo on state television.
In Cairo, streets were virtually deserted except for demonstrators and security forces, with the army deploying at key points in the city.
But some residents formed their own roadblocks, checking identity papers and searching cars.
The interior ministry accused the Brotherhood of attacking police stations, saying it foiled attempts to storm buildings.
And the cabinet issued a defiant statement accusing the Brotherhood of a "terrorist plot".
"The cabinet affirms that the government, the armed forces, the police and the great people of Egypt are united in confronting the malicious terrorist plot by the Muslim Brotherhood," it said.
Marches were also reported in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, in Beni Sueif and Fayyum, south of Cairo, and in the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada.
The United Nations said it would dispatch Jeffrey Feltman, undersecretary general for political affairs, to Cairo next week.
The US urged Egypt to avoid using "lethal force" against demonstrators.
"We again urge all sides to cease violence, and we note that government has a particular responsibility to ensure an atmosphere that allows Egyptians to exercise peacefully their universal rights," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in an email.
"Lethal force should not be used against peaceful demonstrators. Demonstrators must also demonstrate peacefully."
But Egypt defended the crackdown and announced it was cancelling naval exercises with Turkey to protest Ankara's condemnation.
Both countries claimed to have made the decision to scrap the joint drills scheduled for October, with Cairo saying it had pulled out to protest Turkey's "clear interference" in Egypt's domestic affairs - an accusation Ankara denied.
Thousands of Turks yesterday protested the bloody crackdown, waving portraits of Mursi and chanting "Infidels are killing Muslims!"
The EU's foreign policy chief described the violence in Egypt as "shocking."
"I have asked member state representatives to debate and coordinate appropriate measures to be taken by the European Union in response to the situation in Egypt," said Catherine Ashton.
Germany said it would review ties with Cairo, and joined France in calling for EU talks on the situation, which are expected to take place on Monday.
French President Francois Hollande was discussing the crisis with counterparts in London, Berlin and Rome.
Meanwhile, Egypt's tourism industry was facing meltdown as foreign governments advised visitors to stay in their hotels and tour operators began cancelling trips to the crisis-hit country.
Fears of nationwide unrest have resulted in a string of countries issuing official advice against all but essential travel to the country.
Tourists already in the country are being told to stay in their hotels and resorts, even in areas untouched by the troubles, adding to a sense of insecurity that has hit the beleaguered sector hard.
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