WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) – Violence is likely to continue in Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood called for nationwide marches after Friday prayers and a “day of rage” to denounce this week’s unprecedented bloodshed.
According to CBS News, the government has authorized the use of deadly force against protesters targeting police and state institutions.
Egyptian State TV reported Friday that army troops had been deployed to guard “vital installations” around the country.
The death toll from clashes between police and supporters of the country’s ousted president had risen to at least 638 people and nearly 4,000 wounded.
The Egyptian Health Ministry said that 228 of those killed were in the largest protest camp in Cairo’s Nasr City District, while 90 others who died were in Giza near Cairo University.
Supporters of former President Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted in a military coup on July 3, were in two camps when police tried to clear them. That’s when clashes began and spread to other cities within Egypt.
The violence raged on with fires set at government buildings, policemen gunned down and various Christian churches attacked.
The United States government criticized the Egyptian government’s move to declare a month-long state of emergency and a nighttime curfew in Cairo, Alexandria on the Mediterranean and 12 provinces where violence broke out.
“While we want to sustain our relationship with Egypt, our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual when civilians are being killed in the streets and rights are being rolled back,” said President Obama from vacation in Massachusetts.
The president canceled joint U.S.-Egypt exercises scheduled for next month and gave no indication that the U.S. planned to cut off its $1.3 billion in annual military aid to Egypt. The military aid could be suspended if the administration declared Morsi’s ouster a coup.
A late night statement was issued by Egypt’s interim government stating the country is facing “terrorist actions targeting government and vital institutions” by “violent militant groups.” The government also expressed “sadness” for the killings of Egyptians and pledged to work on restoring law and order.
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