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Mohamed Morsi has called for dialogue to diffuse the crisis in Egypt, as protests continue across the country over his leadership.
Violence overnight left five people dead and over 600 injured, after supporters and opponents of the president clashed in a number of cities.
In a televised address this evening, Mr Morsi expressed sorrow over the deaths and invited opposition leaders for talks on Saturday.
He said he supported the right to peaceful protest, but hit out at those “threatening the security of the people”.
“I can say honestly and clearly that we respect freedom of expression, peacefully. This is a right for everyone,” he said.
“I will not accept anyone killing during the night or threatening the security of the people or attacking public infrastructure.
“Does peaceful demonstration mean attacking public and private facilities? Does it mean attacking the road where people pass every day? Does it mean affecting negatively the image of Egypt? This cannot be a peaceful protest.”
Mr Morsi confirmed a referendum on the country's new consitution would go ahead as planned on December 15, and said a new constituent assembly would be formed to write a fresh draft if the current one was rejected.
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