Cairo: Egyptian interim Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi Wednesday defended security forces` operation to disperse supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi at two sit-in camps, saying they showed high level of "restraint".
"When protesters attempted to spread chaos around the country, we had to take some extraordinary measures," Xinhua quoted Beblawi as saying.
He also stressed that the government had to interfere to protect citizens and bring back stability and security to the streets.
The interim prime minister said the state of emergency declared earlier Wednesday would be applied only for a short period of time.
"Egypt is on its transition roadmap to build a democratic country with social justice," he added.
According to the health ministry, at least 421 were killed in clashes across Egypt after police launched an operation earlier Wednesday to disperse supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi at two major sit-in sites in the capital Cairo.