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Violence Feared as Egypt Braces for Rival Protests

Egyptians are gearing up for rival mass rallies Friday as supporters and opponents of ousted president Mohamed Morsi take to the streets.

Egyptians who support the military's recent ouster of the country's first democratically elected president and those who insist that Mr. Morsi be reinstated are set to rally amid concerns about possible deadly clashes.

On Thursday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for "maximum restraint," while urging the Egyptian military to free Mr. Morsi and other members of the Muslim Brotherhood or "have their cases reviewed transparently without delay.''

Egypt's highest security body, the National Defense Council, issued a statement Thursday, saying authorities are committed to ensuring the safety of all peaceful protesters, but warned that no tolerance would be shown to anyone who threatens security.

In Washington, the Obama administration told U.S. lawmakers that it will not declare the overthrow of Egypt's government a coup. The move allows the United States to continue providing $1.5 billion in annual military and economic aid to Egypt.

The Egyptian military ousted Mr. Morsi, imprisoned him and other Muslim Brotherhood members and suspended the constitution earlier this month.



More than 100 people have been killed since the military toppled President Morsi, including attacks by militants in the northern Sinai. Pro- and anti-Morsi factions blame each other for starting the violence. Mr. Morsi has not been seen since he was placed under house arrest July 3.

Egypt's military named the interim government and has promised to hold elections and restore democracy.

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