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Monday, Jan 22nd

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You are here News International Dozens die in Egyptian bloodbath on Islamists' 'Day of Rage'

Dozens die in Egyptian bloodbath on Islamists' 'Day of Rage'

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Egypt violenceIslamist protests descended into a bloodbath across Egypt on Friday, with around 50 killed in Cairo alone on a "Day of Rage" called by followers of ousted President Mohamed Mursi to denounce a crackdown by the army-backed government.

As automatic gunfire echoed across Cairo, the standoff appeared to be sliding ever faster towards armed confrontation, evoking past conflict between militant Islamists and the state in the Arab world's most populous nation.

While Western governments urged restraint after hundreds died when security forces cleared protest camps two days ago, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah endorsed the government's tactics against the Muslim Brotherhood, saying on Friday his nation stood with Egypt in its battle against "terrorism".

Army helicopters hovered low over supporters of Mursi's Brotherhood in Ramses Square, the theatre of much of Friday's bloodshed in Cairo, black smoke billowing from at least one huge blaze which lit up the night sky after sundown.

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