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Egypt: Interim president meets with army chief

Posted: July 6, 2013 at 9:03 a.m.

Opponents of Egypt's ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans against the Muslim Brotherhood at Tahrir Square in Cairo Saturday, July 6, 2013. Egyptians were on edge Saturday morning after supporters and opponents of ousted President Morsi fought overnight street battles that left at least 30 dead across the increasingly divided country.

CAIRO — Egypt's interim president held talks Saturday with the army chief and interior minister following an outburst of violence between supporters and opponents of ousted leader Mohammed Morsi that killed at least 36 people across the country and deepened the battle lines in the divided nation.

Three days after the military pushed out Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected leader, the country appears to be careening toward further conflict and turmoil. Morsi's supporters have vowed to take to the streets until the toppled Islamist leader is reinstated, while his opponents have called for more mass rallies to defend what they call the "gains of June 30," a reference to the start of massive protests to call for the ouster of the president.

With both sides digging in, the country's acting president, Adly Mansour, met Saturday with army chief and Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi as well as Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, who is in charge of the police, at the Ittihadiya presidential palace.

It was the first time Mansour, a previously little known senior judge, has worked out of the president's main offices since he was sworn-in Thursday as the country's interim leader, a day after the military shunted Morsi aside after four days of the street protests that brought millions out into the streets.

Mansour also met Saturday with leaders of Tamrod, or Rebel, the youth movement that organized the mass anti-Morsi demonstrations, according to the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

Mansour was recently appointed by Morsi as chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, and was only sworn in as the chief justice minutes before he took the oath of office as president.

He took the helm of a fiercely divided country.

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