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Both sides have drawn tens of thousands of people into the streets, sparking bouts of street battles that have left at least six people dead and hundreds wounded. Several offices of the Muslim Brotherhood also have been ransacked or torched in the unrest.

Mr. Morsi, who took office in June as Egypt’s first freely elected president, rescinded the Nov. 22 decrees at the recommendation Saturday of a panel of 54 politicians and clerics who took part in a “national dialogue” the president called for to resolve the crisis. Most of the 54 were Islamists who support the president, since the opposition boycotted the dialogue.

Bassem Sabry, a writer and activist, called the partial concession a “stunt” that would embarrass the opposition by making it look as if Mr. Morsi was willing to compromise but not solve the problem.

“In the end, Morsi got everything he wanted,” he said, pointing out the referendum would be held without the consensus Mr. Morsi had promised to seek and without giving people sufficient time to study the document.

The assembly that adopted the draft constitution was created by parliament, which was dominated by the Brotherhood and other Islamists, and had an Islamist majority from the start. The lawmaking lower house of parliament later was disbanded by court order before Mr. Morsi’s inauguration.

If the draft is approved in the referendum, elections would be held for a new lower house of parliament within two months, Mr. Morsi decided.

The deepening political rift in Egypt had triggered a warning Saturday from the military of “disastrous consequences” if the constitutional crisis isn’t resolved through dialogue.

“Anything other than (dialogue) will force us into a dark tunnel with disastrous consequences, something which we won’t allow,” the military said in a statement broadcast on state TV and attributed to an unnamed military official.

It was the first political statement by the military since the newly elected Mr. Morsi sidelined it from political life soon after he was sworn in.

With the specter of more fighting among Egyptians looming, the military sealed off the presidential palace plaza with tanks and barbed wire — and on Saturday set up a wall of cement blocks around the palace.

Both sides have accused the other of turning the political battle into a violent street clash that could spiral out of control.

Leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood have spoken of a “conspiracy” hatched by figures of the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak aimed at ousting Mr. Morsi.

Meanwhile, the opposition accused gangs organized by the Brotherhood and other Islamists of attacking its protesters, calling on Mr. Morsi to disband them and open an investigation into the bloodshed.

Members of a so-called Alliance of Islamists forces warned it will take all measures to protect “legitimacy” and the president — comments that signal further violence may lie ahead.