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Egyptian Troops Open Fire During Clashes; 40 Dead

CAIRO -- Egyptian soldiers and police have clashed with Islamists protesting the president's ouster, in bloodshed that killed at least 40 people, according to government officials and witnesses.

One witness says gunmen loyal to the ousted Mohammed Morsi, including some on the roof of a nearby mosque, opened fire first. Morsi's supporters say the troops fired on protesters as they performed early morning prayers.

Mirna el-Helbawi, a 21-year-old university student who lives in an apartment overlooking the scene, says the gunbattle followed clashes between the two sides in which rocks and tear gas were used.

The Morsi supporters have been staging a sit-in outside a military building.

A military spokesman says gunmen attempted to storm the building at dawn, prompting the clashes. It was not immediately possible to reconcile the conflicting accounts.

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