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Egypt bars 2 Human Rights Watch workers from entering country ahead of report on mass killings

Mideast Egypt Divisions Drawn in Blood-1.jpg

FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013 file photo, Egyptian security forces detain protesters as they clear a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo. The scene on Aug. 14, 2013, was the start of the biggest massacre in modern Egyptian history, as security forces crushed the sit-in by Islamist supporters of Mohammed Morsi, the elected president who had been removed by the military a month earlier. At least 624 people were killed during 12 hours of mayhem in Cairo‚Äôs Rabaah el-Adawiyah Square, though rights groups have said the toll may be several hundred higher. (AP Photo/Ahmed Gomaa, File) (The Associated Press)

Egyptian authorities have denied entry to the executive director of the New-York based Human Rights Watch and another U.S. staffer ahead of a critical report by the group on mass killings in the country.

An airport official said the two were turned back Monday for security reasons after nearly 12 hours in the Cairo airport. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

Human Rights Watch was to release a report Tuesday about the security crackdown last year on protesters backing deposed Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Hundreds were killed in one of the raids, described as the worst mass killings in Egypt's modern history.

Human Rights Watch said Egypt's police and army "methodically opened fire with live ammunition" during the dispersals.