(WASHINGTON) — The Obama administration says it’s worried over the resumption of widespread violence between supporters of Egypt’s military-backed government and those seeking the reinstatement of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.
National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said at a press briefing Tuesday, “We are deeply concerned by the violence we have seen in Egypt over the past few days. We condemn all acts of violence as well as incitement to violence.”
Simmering tensions during competing rallies in Cairo erupted into civil unrest last Sunday with at least 53 people dead, mostly Islamists siding with the Muslim Brotherhood.
On Monday, eight Egyptian security forces were killed in two separate incidents while a satellite TV station in southern Cairo came under attack by a rocket-powered grenade. The incidents were believed to be in retaliation for the crackdown on Islamists.
Hoping to stem further bloodshed, Meehan told reporters, “The Egyptian government has a responsibility to protect all Egyptians and create an atmosphere in which all Egyptians can exercise their universal rights, including free assembly, expression and press.”
The administration has been careful not to choose sides in the conflict that began with Morsi’s removal three months ago.
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Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN