CAIRO - As images of Egypt's bloodshed spread across the world, angry reactions rushed in to criticize the violent clashes between supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi and security forces which opened a dangerous new phase in the army's confrontation with the Muslim Brotherhood.
"This is a pivotal moment for Egypt," Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement issued after he spoke to two senior members of Egypt's army-installed interim cabinet, expressing his "deep concern", Reuters reported.
"The United States ... calls on all of Egypt's leaders across the political spectrum to act immediately to help their country take a step back from the brink."
According to Egypt's Health Ministry figures, at least 65 people have been killed and hundreds injured after Egypt's security forces opened live ammunition on protesters supporting deposed President Morsi against military coup.
The Brotherhood said another 61 were on life support after what it described as a ferocious dawn assault by men in helmets and black police fatigues. The ambulance service put the death toll at 72.
The killings followed a day of rival mass rallies, triggered by a call from Sisi for a popular mandate to confront "violence and terrorism."
Saturday's violence, and the threat of more, has deepened alarm in the West over events in the country of 84 million people, a vital bridge between the Middle East and North Africa.
The EU's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said she "deeply deplores" the deaths and called for a halt in violence.
But, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at the European Union and others for failing to condemn strongly enough the killing of dozens in Cairo.
"Those who were silent when Egypt's national will was massacred are silent again when people are massacred," Erdogan said in a speech to a group of businessmen in Istanbul in televised comments.
What happened to the EU (and) European values, where are those who go around giving lessons in democracy?
"Where is the United Nations? Where are those who created a brouhaha when Turkish police, in a completely justified and legitimate way, used water (cannon) and pepper spray now when there is a coup and a massacre in Egypt," he said.
More condemnations were expressed by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Saturday for "the upsurge of violence" in Egypt following the latest protests.
"The secretary-general strongly condemns the upsurge of violence in Egypt that has left scores dead and hundreds injured, following protests on Friday and Saturday," said a statement issued by Ban's spokesman.
Ban "expresses his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wishes the wounded a speedy recovery," the statement said.
The secretary-general also appealed to all the people of Egypt to address their differences through dialogue.
"The secretary-general underlines that violence is not a substitute for a political solution and, therefore, calls on all Egyptian leaders to put the interest of Egypt above all individual, group and political interests," the statement said.
Egypt has been thrown into turmoil after Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, was toppled by the powerful military on Wednesday after massive protests against his regime.
The army also suspended the constitution and instated the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court as interim president.
The Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, has vowed peaceful protests until the Islamist president is reinstated.
Weeks of violence have followed Morsi' ousting lave left more than 200 dead and laying bare divisions that have polarized the Arab world's most populous state.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net