Cairo - The death toll from clashes in Egypt rose to 53 on
Monday as calm returned to the streets after one of the bloodiest days since
the military toppled Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July.
Traffic flowed normally in central Cairo where thousands of Morsi
supporters had battled security forces and army supporters on Sunday on the
anniversary of the 1973 war with Israel.
State radio said security forces had regained full control
of Egypt, which signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979. In addition to the
dead, the Health Ministry said 271 people had been wounded in the clashes. Most
of the casualties were Morsi supporters, security sources said.
Further confrontations may shake Egypt this week. An
alliance that includes Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has urged Egyptians to stage
more protests against the army takeover from Tuesday and gather on Cairo's
Tahrir Square on Friday.
Political tensions since the army unseated Morsi on 3 July have
unnerved foreign investors and hammered tourism, a pillar of the economy, but
there is no sign of reconciliation between the Brotherhood and the army-backed
Security forces smashed pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo on 14
August, killing hundreds of people. In an ensuing crackdown, many Muslim
Brotherhood leaders were arrested in an attempt to decapitate Egypt's oldest
Authorities had warned that anyone protesting against the
army during Sunday's 1973 war anniversary would be regarded as an agent of
foreign powers, not an activist - a hardening of language that suggests
authorities may crack down harder.
The Brotherhood remains defiant, organising demonstrations,
even if they are much smaller than ones staged weeks ago.
Army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in an interview
published on Monday in a privately owned Egyptian newspaper, al-Masry al-Youm,
said Egypt's national interests differed from those of the Brotherhood as an
Sisi, in the interview conducted before Sunday's violence,
also spoke about his previous meetings with Morsi, whose time in office he said
had driven Egypt in the direction of civil war.
"I told Morsi in February you failed and your project
is finished," al-Masry al-Youm quoted Sisi as saying.
Sisi denied Brotherhood allegations that the army had
intended to remove Morsi through a coup, saying it had only responded to the
will of the people.
Before Morsi’s overthrow, Egyptians disillusioned with his
year-long rule had held huge rallies demanding that he quit.
Last month, a court banned the Brotherhood and froze its
assets, pushing the group, which had dominated elections held in Egypt after
Hosni Mubarak's fall in 2011, further into the cold.