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January 29, 2013
Egypt army chief warns state could collapse

PORT SAID, Egypt (AP) -- Thousands of mourners chanting for the downfall of Egypt's president marched in funerals again Tuesday in the restive city of Port Said as the army chief warned the state could collapse if the latest political crisis drags on.

Army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's warning, his first comments after six days of rioting and violence across much of the country, appeared aimed at pressuring Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in particular but also his opponents to find some common ground and the worst political crisis to hit Egypt since the ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak nearly two years ago.

So far, the military -- which for months seems to have had an understanding with Morsi -- has allowed him to deal with the crisis and on his orders deployed troops and tanks over the weekend in Port Said and Suez, two riot-torn cities along the strategic Suez Canal.

But it has been willing to go only so far, clearly reluctant to clash with protesters. Troops stood by and watched Monday night as thousands took to the streets in direct defiance of a nighttime curfew and a 30-day state of emergency declared by Morsi in the cities.

(35 images)




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Egyptian protesters celebrate the capture of a state security armored vehicle that demonstrators commandeered during clashes with security forces and brought to Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013. AP / Amr Nabil
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A police officer holds the Egyptian national flag during clashes with anti-government protesters, background, near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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An Egyptian protester displays used ordinance as others, not pictured, celebrate the capture of a state security armored vehicle that demonstrators commandeered during clashes with security forces and brought to Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013. AP / Amr Nabil
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Egyptian protesters clash with riot police near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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Egyptian riot police fire tear gas at protesters, not seen, during clashes in front of the Semiramis Intercontinental hotel, background near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt,Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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Egyptian protesters clash with riot police, not seen, near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt,Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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Egyptian protesters use camera phones to capture a burning state security armored vehicle that demonstrators commandeered during clashes with security forces nearby and brought to Tahrir Square and set it alight, in Cairo, Egypt on Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. AP / Mostafa El Shemy
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An Egyptian protester takes a break while others use green laser pointers during clashes between protesters and Egyptian security forces in Downtown Cairo, Egypt on Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. AP / Virginie Nguyen Hoang
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An Egyptian protester take cover beside a vehicle damaged during clashes between protesters and Egyptian security forces in Downtown Cairo, Egypt on Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. AP / Virginie Nguyen Hoang
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A masked Egyptian protester part of the Black Bloc, flashes the victory sign during clashes with riot police, background, near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
egypt_riots_11.jpg
An Egyptian protester covers his face during clashes with riot police, not seen, near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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Egyptian protesters run for cover during clashes with riot police near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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Egyptians carry the coffin of a man killed during a mass funeral in Port Said, Egypt, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. AP / STR
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Pro and anti-government protesters clash near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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An Egyptian protester throws a tear gas canister back at riot police, not seen, during clashes near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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Egyptian pro and anti-government protesters clash near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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Smoke rises after Egyptian protesters clash with police, unseen, in Port Said, Egypt, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. AP / STR
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Protesters clash with security forces near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. AP / Virginie Nguyen Hoang
egypt_riots_19.jpg
Egyptian soccer fans of Al-Ahly club celebrate inside the club premises in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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An Egyptian soccer fan of Al-Ahly club displays scales to fans celebrating a court verdict that returned 21 death penalties in last years soccer violence, inside the club premises in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013. AP / Ahmed Ramadan
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Egyptian soccer fans of Al-Ahly club celebrate in front of their club in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013. AP / Amr Nabil
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Families and supporters of those accused of soccer violence from the Port Said soccer club react to the announcement of verdicts for 21 fans on trial in last years Port Said stadium incident which left 74 people dead, in Port Said, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013. AP / Mohammed Nouhan
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Families of the victims of the Ultras Al-Ahli, football supporters react in court with joy after the issuance of the death penalty for 21 accused in last years Port Said football violence, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013. AP / Ahmed Abd El-Latef
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Egyptians say funeral prayers in a mosque for three people who died in demonstrations marking the second anniversary of the Jan., 25, 2011, Egyptian revolution in Suez, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013. AP / Ahmed Abd El-Latef
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Thousands of Egyptian protesters gather in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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Egyptian protesters hang a giant banner in the colors of Egypt's national flag on barbed wires in front of anti-riot soldiers at the entrance to the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. AP / Amr Nabil
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Egyptian protesters take cover as they clash with riot police, not seen, near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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Egyptian protesters hide for cover during clashes with riot police, not seen, near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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Egyptian protesters throw stones at riot police, not seen, and use scrap metal to deflect stones being returned by security forces during clashes near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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Skirmishes break out between protesters and security forces, unseen, near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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An Egyptian protester evacuates an injured boy during clashes near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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A woman carries a sign with a photo of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and Arabic that reads, "jinx, terrorist killer, embarrassment to Islam. hypocritical liar," during a march near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. AP / Nariman El-Mofty
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An Egyptian protester walks under an anti-Morsi poster near the gate of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan.25, 2013. AP / Amr Nabil
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Egyptian protesters try to tear down a cement wall built to prevent them from reaching parliament and the Cabinet building near Tahrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. AP / Hussein Tallal
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Egyptian protesters try to tear down a cement wall built to prevent them from reaching parliament and the Cabinet building near Tahrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. AP / Hussein Tallal

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