US calls on Egypt military to exercise 'maximum restraint' after protest killings

WASHINGTON (AFP/Reuters) - The United States on Monday called on Egypt's military to exercise "maximum restraint" after dozens of people were killed while demonstrating against last week's ouster of president Mohamed Mursi.

"Egypt's stability and democratic political order are at stake," State Department spokesman Jen Psaki told reporters during a briefing in which she said Washington "strongly" condemns violence on all sides.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday that the US remains concerned about the increasing violence and political polarisation in Egypt, and has called on the transitional authority in Egypt to avoid reprisals, arrests and restrictions on the media.

He also condemned "explicit" calls to violence by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and said the US would take its time to determine whether the ouster of Mr Mursi was a military coup.

When asked how long it would take to determine that, Mr Carney said the administration was wary of moving "unnecessarily quickly".