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News Analysis: National dialogue could ease Egypt's political tension

By Marwa Yahia (Xinhua)

08:35, January 28, 2013

CAIRO, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- A real comprehensive national dialogue with clear agenda, practical mechanisms and guarantees for implementation of its agreement could ease the tense political scene in Egypt, which was engulfed by violent clashes over the past few days.

After days of bloody confrontations across the country, growing division between President Mohamed Morsi's supporters, mainly conservatives and Islamists, and his opponents, mostly secularists, liberals, leftists and Copts, has reached an alarming level necessitating national dialogue and consensus to end the ongoing turmoil.

At least nine people were killed and over 600 others injured nationwide on Friday during clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces, as the former were celebrating the second anniversary of Egypt's political upheaval that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak.

On Saturday, at least 31 were killed and over 300 injured in clashes in Port Said between police and protesters, after a court ruled to execute 21 convicts in a local soccer riot that killed 74 people last year. Besides, at least seven were killed and over 630 injured Sunday, also in Port Said, during a mass funeral for the victims of Saturday's clashes.

The bloody scene in Egypt increased the political challenges facing Morsi, as tens of thousands of protesters flocked to main squares all over Egypt to protest against the alleged " undemocratic exercise of power by the current Islamic administration."

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