U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calls the Egyptian government's use of violence against protesters "deplorable" and a serious blow against reconciliation.
Kerry told reporters at the State Department Wednesday that violence is no solution and can only tear the Egyptian people further apart. He again demanded that the government in Cairo respect basic human rights, while urging the demonstrators to avoid violence.
Kerry's comments echoed the White House, which opposes the Egyptian government's state of emergency and has called on security forces to show restraint.
European powers also have urged the Egyptian government and its Islamist opponents to avoid an escalation of violence and return to a political dialogue.
In Brussels, EU spokesman Peter Stano said the reports from Cairo are "extremely worrying." He said violence will not lead to solutions, and he urged all parties to "exercise maximum restraint."
British Foreign Secretary William Hague took a tougher line against the Egyptian government, saying he condemns its use of force in clearing the protests.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the violence in Egypt in the strongest terms, and said he regrets that Egyptian authorities chose to use force against the mostly Islamist demonstrations.
Human rights group Amnesty International called on the Egyptian military to stop attacking the protesters. Amnesty's Egypt specialist Geoffrey Mock told VOA that Wednesday's violence shows "old patterns of abuse" that date back to the Mubarak regime are being repeated.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan described Wednesday's crackdown by Egyptian security forces as a "massacre." He urged the U.N. Security Council and the Arab League to act immediately to stop it.
Iran also calls it a massacre and warns Egypt that if it does not change course, Israel and what it called "arrogant" world powers will derail the Egyptian people's revolution.