Two men were shot dead on Wednesday near Cairo’s Tahrir Square, state media reported, as Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei called for talks between President Mohamed Morsy, ruling Islamists and the opposition to end days of deadly unrest.
The semi-official newspaper al-Ahram reported online that one man was shot by unknown assailants on Qasr al-Nil Bridge, which leads to Tahrir, during clashes between police and anti-government protesters.
A second man was found dead with shotgun wounds in the nearby Abdel-Moneim Riyad Square, according to the report, raising to three the number of civilians killed in the area in six days of violence.
Security forces erected new concrete walls around two luxury hotels in the vicinity of Tahrir, one of which had been ransacked on Tuesday during clashes between police and demonstrators.
Mr. ElBaradei said that an immediate meeting between Mr. Morsy, ruling Islamists and the opposition was needed to “take urgent steps to stop the violence and begin a serious dialogue.” He added on his Twitter account that the talks should also be attended by Defence and Interior Ministers.
On Tuesday, Defence Minister Abdel-Fatah al-Sissi warned that the current political deadlock in Egypt could “lead to the collapse of the state.” Mr. ElBaradei’s proposal came two days after Mr. ElBaradei and opposition allies in the National Salvation Front rejected Mr. Morsy’s invitation to a national dialogue, saying it was not serious.
Opposition leaders on Monday demanded the formation of a national unity government and a presidential commitment to amend the recently passed constitution before they would take part in the dialogue process, which started later Monday without them.
Clashes across Egypt left more than 50 people dead, since protests began last week on the eve of the second anniversary of the popular revolt that ousted Hosni Mubarak.