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July 8, 2013

Clashes by Egypt army, protesters kill at least 54

(Continued)

CAIRO — The military, which removed Morsi on Wednesday after mass protests against him, now may face pressures to impose stricter security measures to try to keep unrest from spilling out of control. It will also have to produce compelling evidence to support its version of events or otherwise suffer what is already shaping to be a Brotherhood media blitz to portray the military as a brutal institution with little regard for human life or democratic values.

The escalating chaos will also further complicate Egypt's relations with Washington and other Western allies, which had supported Morsi as the country's first freely elected leader and now are reassessing policies toward the military-backed group that forced him out.

In a move that is likely to further inflame the situation, the Freedom and Justice party, the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm, called on Egyptians to rise up against the army. Morsi has been a longtime leader of the Brotherhood.

The party also called on the international community to stop what it called the massacres in Egypt and accused the military of pushing Egypt toward civil war, warning the country was in danger of becoming a "new Syria."

"The only thing the military understands is force and they are trying to force people into submission," said Marwan Mosaad, speaking at a field hospital run by Morsi's supporters. "It is a struggle of wills and no one can predict anything."

Pro-reform leader Mohamed ElBaradei also condemned the violence and called for an investigation, writing on Twitter that "peaceful transition the only way."

The morning's violence left at least 51 protesters dead and 435 wounded, most from live ammunition and birdshot, emergency services chief Mohammed Sultan, according to the state news agency. Two policemen and one soldier were also killed, according to the military.

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