Pope Francis said on Thursday he was praying for the victims of the violence in Egypt that has left more than 500 people dead and appealed for "peace, dialogue and reconciliation".

"About the very sad news that has come unfortunately from Egypt: I wish to address my prayers to the victims, their families, the wounded and to those who are suffering," the pontiff said during a blessing at Castel Gandolfo, the summer papal residence near Rome.

"Let us pray together for peace, dialogue and reconciliation in this dear land."

Violence swept across Egypt on Wednesday triggered by the security forces' bloody crackdown on protest camps of supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo.

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