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Pro and anti-Morsi supporters stage shows of strength

Supporters and opponents of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi have gathered in the Egyptian capital. The army has warned "decisively" against violence between the two sides.

Demonstrators from both the secular-liberal and Islamist side of Egypt's political divide rallied on Sunday, with each drawing tens of thousands of supporters.

The Muslim Brotherhood was pressing ahead with its campaign of demonstrations calling for the reinstatement of ex-President Mohammed Morsi, after his removal from office by the army on Wednesday.

Islamists gathered outside the headquarters of Egypt's Republican Guard, where Morsi is believed to be held in custody by the army.

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Egypt hit by protests once more

Officials from the Muslim Brotherhood vowed that it would not be "terrorized" following the arrests of a number of its leaders and a shutdown of media sympathetic to its cause.

Morsi was replaced as head of state on Thursday by senior judge Adly Mansour, in what Islamists condemn as a coup.

Smoke trails in sky

Meanwhile, the Brotherhood's opponents called for a demonstration of support for the military handover in the city's Tahrir Square. Air force jets flew above the square, drawing a smoke trail representing the Egyptian flag in the sky.

The Tamarod movement, which staged the June 30 rallies that resulted in Morsi's overthrow, urged people to gather at Tahrir and the Ittihadiya presidential palace to "complete the revolution."

The military deployed troops at points throughout the capital, amid fears of violence between the two groups. An army statement warned against "provocative actions," vowing that violations would be "dealt with decisively, under the law."

Banners showed the protesters' anger with the United States, who they perceive as having supported Morsi. Obama insisted overnight into Sunday that the US was "not aligned" with any Egyptian party or group following Morsi's ouster.

German support ‘dependent'

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Sunday said that German support for the new administration depended on a return to democratic transition.

"This is the standard by which we will judge the new government in Cairo," said Westerwelle. "The more clear the democratic transformation becomes, the more committed Germany will be in its support."

A Cairo court on Sunday cleared 12 activists from charges that they had incited violence at protests near to the Muslim Brotherhood's headquarters in March.

On Saturday, interim President Mansour's office went back on a decision to appoint opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei to the post of prime minister. The decision came after the Islamist Salafi al-Nour party objected to the Nobel Peace Prize winner's appointment.

rc /mz (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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