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Fallout grows after dozens killed in shooting of Morsi supporters in Egypt

The EU has condemned the killing of supporters of Egypt's ousted president. The Islamist al-Nour party has suspended negotiations aimed at forming an interim Egyptian government.

Fifty-one people were killed outside the Egyptian military headquarters on Monday when supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi demonstrated near the Republican Guard building in Cairo. Protesters said that the troops attacked their encampment without provocation just after dawn prayers. The military, meanwhile, said it only fired warning shots and tear gas - blaming armed civilians on the site for the bloodshed.

A spokesman for Egypt's interim presidency said that the violent clashes would not derail efforts to form a temporary government.

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood accuses the military of carrying out a coup by removing him last week. The former president's opponents claim that he squandered his 2012 election victory and had wrecked the fledgling democracy by bolstering his and the Brotherhood's grip on the state.

Discussing the violence that has followed the military takeover, EU foreign policy spokesman Michael Mann said the European Union has "no plan to change our aid regime" - but added that "we are keeping our aid to Egypt under constant review, and, depending on the situation on the ground, we can change."

'Dismayed'

Monday's violence injured more than 300 people and brought talks between the military and al-Nour to a halt. The Salafist party had supported the armed forces' removal of Morsi last week. However, a deadly shooting at a pro-Morsi demonstration swiftly reversed al-Nour's cooperative efforts, according to the party's spokesperson.

Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb, the head of the Al-Azhar Mosque and Egypt's top cleric, said he had "no choice" but to seclude himself at home "until everyone shoulders his responsibility to stop the bloodshed instead of dragging the country into civil war."

The world reacts

"We condemn and we regret the violence," Mann said on the European Union's behalf. "The most important thing is to return to the democratic process as soon as possible."

The German Foreign Ministry announced dismay over the violence and called for a "speedy clarification" by an independent body into the events surrounding the latest killings. The ministry also strongly discouraged travel to Egypt except for the Red Sea and Sinai beaches.

Turkey's government, allied with the Islamist leader Morsi, has criticized his overthrow and condemned Monday's killings. "I strongly condemn the massacre that took place at morning prayers in the name of basic human values," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Twitter. "A political normalization process that respects the will of the Egyptian people must begin."

Britain also called for movement toward free and fair elections and agreement on a democratic constitution, and encouraged authorities to carry out an investigation into the events that led to the deaths. "There is an urgent need for calm and restraint," Foreign Secretary William Hague said.

Outside the EU, the wealthy Gulf nation Qatar, a main backer of Morsi's government, expressed "great concern" over the deadly clashes and urged authorities to guarantee the "rights and protections" for all groups to express their views. Qatar has not made any public statements on the status of its own pledges to the Morsi government, which included up to $21 billion ($27 billion) in investment and economic aid over the next five years.

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