A top Muslim Brotherhood leader urged Egyptians to stand ready to sacrifice their lives to prevent a coup, after the army gave Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and his opponents until Wednesday to resolve their differences or face intervention.

"Seeking martyrdom to prevent this coup is what we can offer to the previous martyrs of the revolution," Mohamed al-Beltagui said in a statement on Tuesday.

He was referring to the more than 800 people killed during the 2011 uprising that ousted veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak.

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