Egypt's new rulers declared two Cairo vigils by supporters of the deposed president threats to national security today and instructed the interior ministry to "put an end" to them.
Thousands of supporters of the Islamist Mohamed Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood have been staging sit-ins at two locations in the Egyptian capital for the past month, protesting against his overthrow by the army on July 3.
The Brotherhood says its supporters will stay put until Mursi is reinstated. At least 80 of them were shot dead by security forces at dawn on Saturday in the second mass killing of Mursi supporters since his overthrow.
Today's statement by the cabinet raised the spectre of yet more bloodshed.
In a televised statement, an interim cabinet installed by the military said the "terrorist acts" and traffic disruption stemming from the protests were no longer acceptable and "represent a threat to Egyptian national security".
"The cabinet decided to begin taking all necessary measures to address these dangers and put an end to them, commissioning the interior minister to do all that is necessary regarding this matter within the framework of the constitution and the law," it said.
Minutes before the statement, authorities said they had referred the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie, and two other senior movement officials to a court on charges of inciting violence.