The federal government says the latest violence in Egypt is a terrible tragedy and has called for restraint from the military and protesters alike.

Egypt's health ministry says at least 278 people have been killed in nationwide violence after police cracked down on loyalists of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr says he has no advice of any Australians being caught up in the bloodshed.

But he has called for Australians in the country to leave and for those planning to go there to reconsider.

Anyone there should avoid any demonstrations or protests, he says.

"This is an awful tragedy for the people of Egypt. They deserved better and hoped for more," Senator Carr told reporters at Sydney Airport on Thursday.

"We call for restraint by the military, we urge restraint by those people who are protesting.

"We remind the government of Egypt people have a right to protest peacefully and we want that right respected."

Senator Carr said he feels "apprehensive" about Egypt's future in the wake of the latest bloodshed.


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