(New York Times) The Egyptian authorities unleashed a ferocious attack on Islamist protesters early Saturday, killing at least 72 people in the second mass killing of demonstrators in three weeks and the deadliest attack by the security services since Egypt’s uprising in early 2011.

The attack provided further evidence that Egypt’s security establishment was reasserting its dominance after President Mohamed Morsi’s ouster three weeks ago, and widening its crackdown on his Islamist allies in the Muslim Brotherhood. The tactics — some victims were killed with single gunshot wounds to the head — suggested that Egypt’s security services felt no need to show any restraint.

“They had orders to shoot to kill,” said Gehad el-Haddad, a Brotherhood spokesman. The message, he said, was, “This is the new regime.”

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