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Egypt’s top cleric says will go into seclusion until end of bloodshed

Published: Updated:

Azhar’s Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayyeb said on Monday that he will go into seclusion until violence ends after the death of more than 50 people were killed in an attack outside the Republican Guard building.

Tayyeb said he would “remain in seclusion in his house until all the spilling of Egyptian blood ends and those behind it take responsibility,” Reuters reported.

The grand imam was a key party to army-sponsored talks that yielded a roadmap for a political transition in Egypt after the military's ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Mursi on Wednesday.

He warned of civil war and called for the transitional period that began following last week's ouster of the president to be limited to six months.

El-Tayeb is the grand imam of the Al-Azhar Mosque, the world's primary seat of learning for Sunni Muslims, the vast majority of the world's Muslims.

El-Tayeb's Monday statement came hours after clashes between security forces and supporters of the ousted president Mohammed Morsi left at least 42 killed.

(With Reuters and AP)