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CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian security forces shot dead dozens of supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi on Saturday, witnesses said, days after the army chief called for a popular mandate to wipe out "violence and terrorism".Men in helmets and black police fatigues fired on crowds gathered before dawn on the fringes of a round-the-clock sit-in near a mosque in northeast Cairo, Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood movement said.The bloodshed, near the military parade ground where President Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981, plunged the Arab world's most populous country deeper into turmoil following two turbulent years of transition to democracy since veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak was swept from power.Activists rushed blood-spattered casualties into a makeshift hospital. Some were carried in on planks or blankets. One ashen teenager was laid out on the floor, a bullet hole in his head.Brotherhood spokesman Ahmed Aref said 66 people had been killed and another 61 were "brain dead" on life support machines. More than 4,000 were treated for the effects of tear gas and gunshot or birdshot wounds, he told reporters."Innocent blood was spilled," he said. "We have gone back 10 years."A Reuters reporter counted 36 bodies at one morgue. The Health Ministry reported a total of 65 dead."They are not shooting to wound, they are shooting to kill," another Brotherhood spokesman, Gehad El-Haddad, told Reuters early on Saturday. "The bullet wounds are in the head and chest." Haddad later said the vigil of thousands would continue until Mursi is reinstated.Egypt's Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim accused the Brotherhood of exaggerating the death toll for political ends and denied that police had opened fire.Ibrahim said local residents living close to the Rabaa al-Adawia mosque vigil had clashed with protesters in the early hours after they had blocked off a major bridge road. He said that police had used teargas to try to break up the fighting.Well over 200 people have been killed in violence since the army toppled Mursi on July 3, following huge protests against his year in power. The army denies accusations it staged a coup, saying it intervened to prevent national chaos.SISI'S CHALLENGEHundreds of thousands of Egyptians had poured onto the streets on Friday in response to a call by army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for nationwide demonstrations to give him backing to confront the weeks-long wave of violence.His appeal was seen as a challenge to the Brotherhood, which organized its own rallies on Friday calling for the return of Mursi, who has been held in an undisclosed location since his ousting and faces a raft of charges, including murder.Ibrahim said Mursi was likely to be transferred shortly to the same Cairo prison where former leader Mubarak is now held.