The interim Egyptian government has declared a national emergency and killed 149 people, it says, while clearing camps of people protesting its existence.
The Muslim Brotherhood, which was ousted from power by military coup, says the death toll is more than 2,000.
Protesters had demanded that Mohamed Morsi, who won Egypt’s first democratic presidential election, be restored to power.
Egyptians are divided. Another mass protest, this one against Morsi, was the military’s original justification for the coup.
The declared state of emergency is troubling, since it’s the same tactic used by Egypt’s former dictator, Hosni Mubarak, to detain and torture people he saw as a threat. Except for a few months off, Egypt was in a state of emergency from 1967 to 2012.
Egyptian security forces had to break up protest camps in Cairo to “restore security”, interim Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi has said.
Mr Beblawi said it was not an easy decision to disperse the supporters of deposed President Mohammed Morsi.
Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim said the police had “dealt professionally” with the protesters.
—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer
A protester comforts a wounded colleague after Egyptian security forces began to clear a sit-in by supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.