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Over 1,000 Brotherhood protesters arrested

A statement by the Interior Ministry said protesters committed acts of terrorism during demonstrations.

FILE A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi searches through the debris on August 14, 2013. Picture: AFP.

CAIRO - Egyptian authorities arrested more than 1,000 members of the Muslim Brotherhood during nationwide protests on Friday, according to a statement by the Interior Ministry.

The statement said Brotherhood members had committed acts of terrorism during the demonstrations.

The curfew has just lifted as Egyptians wake up to another day under emergency law.

But both the protesters and military are remaining steadfast which has many worried.

Egyptians tell Eyewitness News the more violence there is, the higher the risk the country could descend into civil war.

Undeterred by the bloodshed in which about 700 have been killed since Wednesday, the Brotherhood announced a series of daily rallies over the next six days, starting on Saturday.

It vows its supporters will stay on the streets despite the brutal regime crackdown.

"Our rejection of the coup regime has become an Islamic, national and ethical obligation that we can never abandon."

While many Western allies have denounced the killings, Saudi Arabia threw its weight behind the army-backed government on Friday, accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of trying to destabilise Egypt.

The European Union asked its states to consider "appropriate measures" to take in reaction to the violence, while Germany said it was reconsidering its ties.

'DAY OF RAGE'

Violence erupted across Egypt after the Brotherhood called for a "Day of Rage" on Friday. Roughly 50 people died in Cairo and more than 20 in Alexandria.

Automatic gunfire echoed around the capital throughout Friday afternoon, army helicopters swooped over the roof tops and at least one office block was set ablaze.

Undermining Brotherhood pledges of peaceful resistance, armed men were seen firing from the ranks of pro-Morsi supporters.

The Brotherhood suggested the gunmen had been planted by the security forces, saying it remained committed to non-violence.

An interim cabinet, installed by the army after it removed Morsi on 3 July, has refused to back down.

It has authorised police to use live ammunition to defend themselves and state installations.

After weeks of political mediation, police moved on Wednesday to clear two Brotherhood protest sit-ins in Cairo.

Almost 600 people, most of them Islamists, were killed.

"Egypt fighting terrorism," said a new logo plastered on state television.

The government said in a statement it was confronting the "Muslim Brotherhood's terrorist plan".

Egypt has moved from one crisis to another since the downfall of the autocratic Hosni Mubarak in 2011, dealing repeated blows to the economy, particularly tourism.

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