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Updated: Sat, 17 Aug 2013 07:04:25 GMT | By The Associated Press, cbc.ca

Morsi supporters vowing new protests



Morsi supporters vowing new protests

Supporters of Egypt's ousted Islamist president are vowing to defy a state of emergency with new protests on Saturday, a day after marches in Cairo devolved into the fiercest street battles that the capital has seen in more than two years.

Military and police surrounded the area around Cairo's al-Fath mosque early on Saturday where supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi had taken shelter.

"They came in yesterday [Brotherhood supporters] and I think that if the police uses force with them they can easily terminate them," said a local resident unhappy with the Muslim Brotherhood and their supporters.

Hundreds of people had barricaded themselves overnight inside the al-Fatah mosque, shoving furniture against the doors to stop police from breaking their way in.

Across the city on Friday, police and armed vigilantes at neighbourhood checkpoints battled Muslim Brotherhood-led protesters, with the sight of residents firing at one another marking a dark turn in the conflict.

Unlike in past clashes between protesters and police, Friday's violence introduced a combustible new mix, with residents and police in civilian clothing battling the marchers.

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"We should respect any protester and we should not shoot him, it was a war yesterday," said Mahmoud Tharwat.

The international community has urged both sides to show restraint and end the turmoil engulfing the nation.

The European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Friday that the death toll over the last few days is "shocking" and that responsibility weighs heavily on the interim government and the wider political leadership in Egypt.

More than 80 people were killed on Friday in what the Muslim Brotherhood called a "Day of Rage" — ignited by anger at security forces for clearing two sit-in demonstrations earlier in the week, leaving hundreds dead.

Relatives of some of those killed in Friday's clashes complained that the authorities were trying to hide the magnitude of the number of people killed by issuing bogus death certificates.

"They won't give us a death certificate at the mortuary to bury him saying he was killed in the clashes in Ramses. They want to give us a death certificate saying he committed suicide," said Um Ahmed who claims her son was killed in the clashes in Ramses square.

Across the country, at least 72 civilians were killed, along with 10 police officers, security officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

The violence capped off a week that saw more than 700 people killed across the country. That toll surpasses the combined death toll from two and a half years of violent protests since the ouster of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak to the July 3 coup that toppled Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood.

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