egypt_3

The Egyptian capital Cairo is poised for renewed protests by supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

They are expected to take place two days after authorities broke up Muslim Brotherhood protest camps in Cairo with the loss of at least 638 lives.

Mr Morsi?s supporters plan to converge on central Ramses Square from city mosques after Friday prayers.

A state of emergency is in force and police have been authorised to use live ammunition in self-defence.

BBC journalists in Ramses Square describe the atmosphere as very tense and have been advised by the crowd to leave as the area is too dangerous to stay.

The Muslim Brotherhood called on its supporters to gather in mosques for Friday prayers and then take to the streets of Cairo in a ?march of anger?.

The group?s leaders say they will hold marches under the slogan ?the people want to topple the coup?.

Security in the capital is tight, with many armoured personnel carriers on the streets.

Members of groups opposed to Mr Morsi ? the National Salvation Front and Tamarod ? are reported to have called for counter-demonstrations in response.

There have also been calls for people to protect their neighbourhoods and churches throughout the country.

Egypt?s Coptic Christian community has been targeted by some Islamists who accuse the Church of backing the army?s overthrow of Mr Morsi last month.

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, an NGO, says 25 churches, along with private homes and businesses belonging to Copts and other Christian denominations, were attacked on Wednesday and Thursday.

There are fears of renewed bloodshed after authorities said the police were authorised to use live ammunition to protect themselves and key state institutions from attack.

Reports say there were renewed attacks on security forces on Thursday, with at least seven soldiers and a policeman killed in the Sinai peninsula and another police officer killed in the central city of Assuit.

US Republican Senator John McCain told BBC Newsnight that the ousting of President Morsi was a ?coup? and President Obama should have cut off aid to Egypt as a result.

The US has been careful not to use the word coup as under US law this would mean stopping aid.

?I am confused that we would not enforce our own laws,? he said.

?That sends a message of tolerance of brutality, of ineffective American leadership to the Muslim world, that the United States of America at least condones this kind of behaviour, which we cannot.?

BBC

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