LONDON - Egypt's ambassador to Britain said a crackdown on supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi was not excessive and that protesters had portrayed themselves as victims and had shot one another dead in some cases.
Dismissing some reports of Wednesday's crackdown as false, Ambassador Ashraf ElKholy told a news conference that some protesters had been armed and that security forces had had every right to respond in the way that they did.
"They (protesters) got what they wanted, they showed they were the victims," he said. When asked whether he was suggesting that some protesters had shot one other, he said: "Yes".
Egypt's government says 578 people were killed and thousands wounded in the worst day of civil violence in the modern history of the most populous Arab state.
International condemnation rained down on Egypt's military-backed rulers for ordering the storming of pro-Morsi protest camps after dawn on Wednesday, six weeks after the army overthrew the country's first freely elected leader.
Britain's Foreign Office summoned ElKholy on Wednesday to express "deep concern" about the violence and condemn the use of force against the protesters.