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updated: 7/8/2013 9:18 AM

Egypt's top Muslim cleric warns of civil war

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  • An Egyptian man cries outside a morgue after carrying the corpse of his brother killed near the Republican Guard building in Cairo, Egypt, Monday. Egyptian soldiers and police opened fire on supporters of the ousted president early Monday in violence that left dozens of people killed, including one officer, outside a military building in Cairo where demonstrators had been holding a sit-in, government officials and witnesses said.

      An Egyptian man cries outside a morgue after carrying the corpse of his brother killed near the Republican Guard building in Cairo, Egypt, Monday. Egyptian soldiers and police opened fire on supporters of the ousted president early Monday in violence that left dozens of people killed, including one officer, outside a military building in Cairo where demonstrators had been holding a sit-in, government officials and witnesses said.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

CAIRO -- Egypt's top Muslim cleric is warning of civil war and says he will go into seclusion at his home until the bloodshed ends as a show of protest.

Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb also called for the transitional period that began following last week's ouster of the president to be limited to six months.

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In a statement he says he will go into seclusion until "everyone shoulders his responsibility to stop the bloodshed, instead of dragging the country into civil war."

El-Tayeb is the grand imam of the Al-Azhar Mosque, the world's primary seat of learning for Sunni Muslims, the vast majority of the world's Muslims.

El-Tayeb's Monday statement came hours after clashes between security forces and supporters of the ousted president Mohammed Morsi left at least 42 killed.

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