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Egypt's Morsi addresses nation, inflames protests
 
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi claimed sweeping new powers on Nov. 23.
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi claimed sweeping new powers on Nov. 23.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi went on TV Thursday night to address his country after two days of violent clashes between his Islamist supporters and protesters that left seven people dead and hundreds wounded. Speaking from the heavily guarded presidential palace, Morsi called for a "national dialogue" to heal the rift over his Nov. 22 decree giving him sweeping, unchecked power and his moves to put an Islamist-drafted constitution to popular referendum on Dec. 15. But he said Egypt will go ahead with the referendum, and he won't give up his new powers until it does, and he blamed the violence on "infiltrators" among the protesters loyal to ousted President Hosni Mubarak. The speech only angered the largely secular, liberal opposition, which vowed stepped up demonstrations Friday. President Obama called Morsi Thursday night to express his "deep concern" about the deaths and urge "all political leaders in Egypt" to "make clear to their supporters that violence is unacceptable."

 

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