Saudi Arabia to send three field hospitals to Egypt

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) - Saudi King Abdullah ordered on Saturday the dispatch of three fully-equipped field hospitals to Egypt, a day after backing Cairo in its deadly crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood protesters.

The move is aimed at "standing by and supporting the brotherly Egyptian people, and to reduce the pressure on hospitals there," said a Saudi official cited by SPA state news agency.

The hospitals will come with a full staff of doctors and technicians, the unnamed official said.

King Abdullah pledged on Friday the kingdom's support to Egypt's fight on "terrorism", as the army and security forces continued a bloody crackdown on supporters of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Mursi.

Egypt has seen four days of bloodshed since Wednesday, when around 600 people were killed in clashes as police broke up protest camps of Mursi supporters.

The government said on Saturday that 173 people had died in the past 24 hours alone.

Following Mr Mursi's ouster by the army last month, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait pledged a combined total of US$12 million (S$15.2 million) in aid to support Egypt's faltering economy.

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