Egypt president declares emergency after clashes kill dozens

Egypt violence

A police officer at the funeral said many of his colleagues blame the interior minister for the deaths of at least two policemen during Saturday's clashes as he did not allow the police there to carry weapons and were only given teargas bombs.

SECURITY MEASURES

The violence has exposed a deep rift in the nation. Liberals and other opponents accuse Mursi of failing to deliver on economic promises and say he has not lived up to pledges to represent all Egyptians. His backers say the opposition is seeking to topple Egypt's first freely elected leader.

Distancing itself from the latest flare-ups, the opposition National Salvation Front said Mursi should have acted far sooner to impose extra security measures that would end the violence.

"Of course we feel the president is missing the real problem on the ground which is his own polices," spokesman Khaled Dawoud said. "His call to implement emergency law was an expected move given what is going on, namely thuggery and criminal actions."

The Front, formed late last year when Mursi provoked protests and violence by expanding his powers and driving through an Islamist-tinged constitution, has threatened to boycott the parliamentary poll and call for more protests if its demands are not met, including for an early presidential vote

Mursi had invited 11 political parties, including Islamist, liberal and leftist groups, along with four top politicians to a meeting on Monday at 6 p.m. local time (1600 GMT)to work out a basis for a fruitful dialogue that would resolve the political crisis, according to a statement from his office.

The Front said it will meet earlier on Monday to discuss the invitation.

But some of the Front's top leaders had already announced their position. Hamdeen Sabahy, a leftist politician and former presidential candidate who was one of the four invited by Mursi, said he would not attend Monday's meeting "unless the bloodshed stops and the people's demands are met."

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