Egypt braced for more violence after calls for 'march of anger'
Security forces to use live ammunition as rival protests are planned and US and UN call for calm
EGYPT is braced for more violence today after the Muslim Brotherhood called for a nationwide 'march of anger' following two days of bloodshed and clashes with security forces.
More than 600 people have been killed since the military launched a crackdown against Islamist supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi, who was overthrown by the army last month despite winning elections in 2012.
Two protest camps in Cairo were cleared on Wednesday, but the operation prompted "widespread rage and revenge attacks," reports The Guardian, and there is increasing international concern about the situation in the country.
Here is a roundup of the latest developments:
Muslim Brotherhood rally: The Brotherhood has called on its supporters across Egypt to take to the streets after Friday prayers for a “march of anger”. It said: "Despite the pain and sorrow over the loss of our martyrs, the latest coup makers' crime has increased our determination."
Security forces to use live rounds: Government buildings and security forces have come under attack in the protests and the interior ministry has said that the authorities will once again use live ammunition against demonstrators to counter any such attacks. A curfew is already in place in Cairo.
Rival gathering: The National Salvation Front, described as "a loose liberal and leftist coalition", is also planning a rally today to protest against the "obvious terrorism" of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Dead bodies piling up: Bureaucracy and problems of identification have delayed the burials of many of those killed in the violence, reports The Times, even though Islamic tradition says funerals should take place within 24 hours of death. Many bodies remain laid out in mosques where volunteers have "set up fans, sprayed disinfectant and packed ice around the bodies to slow decomposition in the searing summer heat".
US calls off military exercises: President Obama has cancelled joint military exercises due to take place with Egypt next month and delivered what the Guardian describes as a "carefully calibrated rebuke that stopped short of a more significant suspension of aid". He told Egypt: "We deplore violence against civilians. We support universal rights essential to human dignity, including the right to peaceful protest."
UN calls for calm: The UN Security Council has urged all parties to show "maximum restraint," reports the Daily Telegraph. Argentina's UN ambassador Maria Cristina Perceval said: "The view of council members is that it is important to end violence in Egypt."
Tourism under threat: The curfew in Cairo is damaging the tourist industry and holiday-makers in some resorts on the Red Sea coast have been warned not to leave their hotels, reports the Daily Mail, while excursions have been cancelled. The US has warned its citizens to leave the country. ·