Egypt clashes as protesters warned
Deadly clashes have broken out during the funerals of killed supporters of Egypt's ousted Islamist president, as the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood urged his supporters to stand fast after more than 70 of them were killed in weekend violence.
Setting the stage for more confrontation, the military-installed interim president gave the prime minister the power to grant the military the right to arrest civilians in what government officials said could be a prelude to a major crackdown on Mohammed Morsi's supporters or Islamic militants who have stepped up attacks against security forces in the Sinai Peninsula.
The extent of the bloodshed has dashed hopes of reconciliation between the country's two camps, sharply divided over the July 3 military coup that removed Egypt's first freely elected president following protests by millions of Egyptians demanding he step down.
Islamists staunchly reject the new leadership and insist the only possible solution to the crisis is to reinstate Mr Morsi. Meanwhile, the interim leadership is pushing ahead with a fast-track transition plan to return to a democratically elected government by early next year.
Egypt's interior minister, who is in charge of the police, also pledged to deal decisively with any attempts to destabilise the country, a thinly veiled warning to Morsi supporters occupying two squares in Cairo in a month-long stand-off with security forces.
The international community, meanwhile, urged restraint. US Secretary of State John Kerry issued a strongly worded statement, saying he told Egyptian authorities it is "essential" they respect the right to peaceful protest. He called on all sides to enter a "meaningful political dialogue" to "help their country take a step back from the brink."
The worst bout of violence since Mr Morsi's ousting took place before dawn on Saturday when police and armed men in civilian clothes opened fire on his supporters as they sought to expand their sit-in camp by moving onto a nearby main boulevard.
Authorities conceded that the vast majority in Cairo of the 72 killed were demonstrators, but the Interior Ministry said some policemen also were wounded as the military-backed administration sought to defend the bloodshed.
Officials from Mr Morsi's Brotherhood and their allies decried what they called a new "massacre" against their side, which occurred only weeks after July 8 clashes with army troops in Cairo that left more than 50 Morsi supporters dead.
Civilians, sometimes with weapons, frequently join police in Cairo demonstrations. In some cases, they appear to be plainclothes police; in others residents who back the security forces.