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Reuters) - The United States urged Arab ally Egypt to pull "back from the brink" after security forces killed dozens of supporters of deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi and opened a dangerous new phase in the army's confrontation with his Muslim Brotherhood.Thousands of Brotherhood supporters were hunkered down in a vigil at a Cairo mosque on Sunday, vowing to stand their ground despite the imminent threat of a move to disperse them.Saturday's bloodshed, following huge rival rallies, plunged the Arab world's most populous country deeper into turmoil following two turbulent years of transition to democracy with the fall of veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.Egypt's Health Ministry said 65 people had died. The Brotherhood said another 61 were on life support after what it described as a ferocious dawn assault by men in helmets and black police fatigues. The ambulance service put the death toll at 72.Bodies wrapped in white sheets were laid on the floor of a Brotherhood morgue, their names scrawled on the shrouds.Washington, treading a fine line with an important Middle East ally and recipient of over $1 billion in military aid, urged the Egyptian security forces to respect the right to peaceful protest.U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke by telephone with Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led the July 3 military overthrow of Mursi and whose face has appeared on posters across the teeming capital, Cairo.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to two senior members