WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday denounced the latest violence and bloodshed in Egypt, calling it a "serious blow" to the reconciliation efforts in the country.
"It's a serious blow to reconciliation and the Egyptian's people's hopes for a transition towards democracy and inclusion," the top American envoy said in a statement he read at a daily news briefing.
"Today's events are deplorable and they run counter to Egyptian aspirations for peace, inclusion and genuine democracy," he added.
State TV reported the deaths of at least 43 policemen and injuries of 211 others in clashes with supporters of Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi during the police's operation to disperse the protesters in the capital of Cairo.
Morsi's followers have been encamped in two Cairo squares demanding his reinstatement. His ouster on July 3 by the military had sparked deadly confrontations across the country.
The Egyptian Health Ministry said previously that the police's move to clear the camps had resulted in clashes across Egypt, leading to some 149 deaths and more than 1,400 injuries.
"Egyptians inside and outside of the government need to take a step back," Kerry said. "They need to calm the situation and avoid further loss of life."
He also opposed Egypt's return to a state of emergency law.
He said, however, that he was convinced a path toward a political solution is still "open" and "possible" based on his phone conversations with the foreign ministers of Egypt and other countries on Wednesday.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest issued a statement earlier in the day, denouncing the violent crackdown on protesters and urging all parties in Egypt to refrain from violence and resolve their differences "peacefully."
Hours after the raids on Cairo's camps, Egypt's interim government declared a state of emergency nationwide for one month, imposing a curfew on Cairo and 10 provinces and allowing security forces to arrest and detain civilians indefinitely without charge.
Washington has opted not to label Morsi's ouster a coup, enabling it to continue its 1.3 billion dollars in annual aid to the Egyptian military. It, however, has halted the delivery of four F-16 fighters to Cairo in a show of its unhappiness with the military's handling of the situation.