Egypt readies for more rallies as seven killed in overnight clashes

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Seven people were killed and 261 wounded in Cairo when supporters of Mohammed Mursi clashed with the deposed president's opponents and security forces overnight, the head of Egypt's emergency services said on Tuesday.

Thousands of pro-Mursi followers gathered nationwide on Monday to commemorate dozens of people who were killed outside the building of the Republican Guard last week and to call for the reinstating of the former president into office.

More rallies are expected on Tuesday.

92 people were killed in the first few days of protests after Mursi’s ousting, with the army warning that it would respond with the “utmost severity and firmness and force,” if military bases were approached.

Four police officers were also admitted to hospital as a result of the anarchy, although it was not specified as to whether the 4 servicemen were among the 22 wounded, the news agency quoted an interior minister as saying.

Flags, banners and portraits of the detained leader have reportedly been carried around Cairo, whilst Egyptian security forces released tear gas on protesters who were blocking The 6th October Bridge near Cairo’s Ramses square, Al Arabiya reported.

Thousands of pro-military supporters have also congregated in Tahrir Square, amid the first official U.S. visit to Egypt, since the toppling of Mursi on July 3.

U.S. Deputy secretary of State William Burns pushed Egypt’s temporary leaders on Monday towards a return to a democratic and elected government.

Talks were held in Cairo between Burns, the Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the military appointed president Adly Mansour and caretaker prime minister Hazem al-Beblawi.

Burn’s visit aims to drive “an end to all violence and a transition leading to an inclusive democratically elected civilian government,” whilst urging both parties in Egypt to engage in dialogue, a statement from the U.S. State department said.

The Brotherhood has currently refused to join the new government, whose interim cabinet was finalized on Monday.

The U.S. visit comes amid indecision as to whether Mursi was subject to a coup, which would, under State law, legally require the U.S. to freeze its crucial $1.5 billion of foreign aid it provides to Egypt.

On Sunday, two influential Republican U.S. lawmakers, Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator John McCain, urged the administration to cut the aid in response to the coup.

(With AFP)