CAIRO - Deeply polarized Egypt braced for renewed confrontation on Friday after the Muslim Brotherhood called for a nationwide march of millions to show anger at a ferocious security crackdown on Islamists in which hundreds were killed.
Defying criticism from major Western allies, Egypt's army-backed government warned it would turn its guns on anyone who attacked the police or public institutions after protesters torched a government building in Cairo on Thursday.
At least 623 people died and thousands were wounded on Wednesday when police cleared out two protest camps in Cairo set up to denounce the military overthrow on July 3 of Egypt's first freely elected president, Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi.
It was the third mass killing of Morsi supporters since his ouster. The assault left his Muslim Brotherhood in disarray, but they warned they would not retreat in their showdown with army commander General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
"After the blows and arrests and killings that we are facing, emotions are too high to be guided by anyone," said Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad.