Bitter palace standoff as backers of defiant Morsi seek vengeance

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Egypt’s political crisis spiralled deeper into bitterness and recrimination yesterday as thousands of Islamist backers of the president vowed vengeance at a funeral for two men killed in bloody clashes earlier this week and crowds of his opponents marched on the palace.

The two camps in the country’s divide appeared at a deadlock after president Mohammed Morsi gave a fiery televised speech on Thursday night denouncing his opponents and refusing to call off a referendum on a draft constitution promulgated by his allies, even as he appealed for dialogue. The opposition rejected talks, saying he must first cancel the referendum and meet other demands.

With Egypt’s crisis now in its third week, anger was mounting in the streets, after the two camps clashed on Wednesday in heavy battles outside the presidential palace that left six dead and more than 700 injured.

 

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