Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour has given Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi the power to grant the military the right to arrest civilians after a weekend of violence between supporters of the country's deposed leader and security forces.
Government officials say the decision could be a prelude to a major crackdown on Mohamed Morsi's supporters or militants who have stepped up attacks against security forces in the Sinai Peninsula.
Mansour's decree was published in the government's official gazette Sunday.
The death toll from Saturday clashes between Morsi supporters and security forces has risen to at least 80, according to the health ministry. Protesters calling for his reinstatement have vowed to continue a massive sit-in.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.