Egyptian death toll rises to 638 from violence Wednesday

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Egyptian authorities have authorized police to use deadly force to protect themselves and key state institutions from attacks.

The Interior Ministry, which is in charge of national security, says in a statement Thursday that the new measures come after supporters of the deposed Islamist president torched two local government buildings in the city of Giza, home to the famed pyramids.

Egypt's military-backed government also pledged to confront "terrorist actions and sabotage" allegedly carried out by members of former President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group.

On Wednesday, the government declared a nationwide state of emergency and nighttime curfew after a deadly crackdown on Morsi supporters holding sit-ins and nationwide clashes left more than 600 people dead.

President Barack Obama says his administration will look at additional steps to take in response to yesterday's violence in Egypt.

Obama announced today that joint U.S.-Egypt military exercises have been canceled -- saying cooperation between the two countries can't "continue as usual." But he gave no indication that the U.S. might cut off its $1.3 billion in annual military aid to Egypt.

Obama says American cooperation with the Egyptian government cannot continue when civilians are being killed in the streets.

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