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Egypt opposition leaders blame Morsi for violence

EGYPT's opposition coalition blamed President Mohamed Morsi for violence that erupted outside his palace and said it was ready for dialogue if the Islamist leader scrapped a decree that gave him extraordinary powers.

"We hold President Morsi and his government completely responsible for the violence that is happening in Egypt today," the co-ordinator of the coalition, Mohamed El-Baradei, said.

"Our opinion was, and still is, that we are ready for dialogue if the constitutional decree is cancelled ... and the referendum on this constitution is postponed," he said referring to a plan for a December 15 referendum to approve a draft constitution. Islamists fought protesters outside the Egyptian president's palace while his deputy proposed a way to end a crisis over the draft constitution.

Tensions were further heightened when it was announced that three members of Mr Morsi's advisory team had resigned over the crisis ignited by the decree that expanded his powers, according to government sources.

Seif Abdel Fattah, Ayman al-Sayyad and Amr al-Leithy all tendered their resignations, bringing to six the number of presidential staff who have quit.

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