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imageBRUSSELS: European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton on Wednesday urged "utmost restraint" from Egypt's security forces following a deadly crackdown on supporters of ousted president Mohamed Mursi.

"Confrontation and violence is not the way forward to resolve key political issues," Ashton said in a statement.

"I deplore the loss of lives, injuries and destruction in Cairo and other places in Egypt," she said.

"I call on the security forces to exercise utmost restraint and on all Egyptian citizens to avoid further provocations and escalation.

"At the same time all sides must take responsibility for the orderly conduct of demonstrations and an end to incitement," Ashton added.

More than 120 people were killed in Cairo when security forces moved in to disperse two protest camps set up by supporters of the ousted president.

"The country's democratic future will depend on a dialogue among all concerned aimed at overcoming differences," Ashton's statement said.

The head of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, said in a separate statement that the reported casualties were "not acceptable".

Schulz called on the authorities "to ensure that all Egyptian people, regardless of their political views, are allowed to demonstrate peacefully.

"It's the government's responsibility to find a peaceful and fair solution to the current crisis towards an inclusive political process and reconciliation," he said.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013

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