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Egyptian opposition rejects talk with President Morsi

Egypt's main opposition coalition has rejected President Morsi's call for dialogue unless their conditions are met. The opposition's response comes one day after Morsi declared a state of emergency in three cities.

Egypt's main opposition group on Monday rejected talks with President Mohammed Morsi as the country plunged deeper into crisis following days of deadly rioting.

Leading dissident leader Mohammed ElBaradei made the announcement with other top figures in the National Salvation Front, a group of several mainly liberal and leftist movements.

"We will not participate in dialogue that is empty of content," ElBaradei told reporters after a meeting of the National Salvation Front.

The announcement comes one day after President Mohammed Morsi declared a state of emergency in three Egyptian cities in response to recent violence.

In a televised address Sunday evening, Morsi declared a state of emergency in Port Said, Suez and Ismailia. The three cities will have a curfew imposed "for 30 days starting at midnight (2200 GMT Sunday)" the president said.

"I find the nation facing dangers, I will have to take stricter measures. This is my duty," said Morsi.

In an attempt to curb the violence, Egypt's Cabinet on Monday approved a draft law that would allow the president to deploy the army "to participate with the police in preserving security and protecting vital establishments."

The law must now be ratified by the Islamist-dominated upper house of parliament, but would not apply until after the next legislative elections, state news agency MENA said.

Meanwhile, a bystander was shot and killed Monday as demonstrators threw rocks at each other near Tahrir Square in Cairo. Police had also fired volleys of tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Unrest in Port Said

Watch video 01:27

State of emergency

At least six people were killed in Port Said on Sunday when crowds gathered for the funerals of Saturday's dead, with many chanting against Morsi.

On Saturday, 31 people were killed and hundreds injured in Port Said when policeman clashed with protesters demonstrating against a Cairo court ruling which sentenced 21 people to death for their roles in the violence last year at Port Said Stadium.

In February 2012, 74 people were killed during clashes at a game between the local football club al-Masry and the Cairo club al-Ahly, whose fans played a key role in the protests that ousted Mubarak two years ago.

The week's deadly unrest was originally sparked by protests marking the second anniversary of the anti-Mubarak revolt, which turned violent.

hc/mkg (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)

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