Clashes between Mursi supporters and opponents kill 5

An injured supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood shows his arm, with pellet wounds from clashes on Wednesday, outside the Egyptian presidential palace in Cairo 6 December 2012. (Photo: Reuters - Asmaa Waguih)

Published Thursday, December 6, 2012

At least five people were killed and more than 400 injured during overnight clashes in Cairo between supporters and opponents of Islamist President Mohammed Mursi, and violence was still ongoing on Thursday.

Armored personnel carriers, tanks and members of the presidential guard were deployed Thursday near the presidential palace, where the confrontations have been taking place.

Despite the presence of security forces, supporters and opponents of Mursi hurled rocks at each other Thursday over the heads of soldiers.

Egypt has seen an outpouring of rage after Mursi’s controversial November 22 decree granted him autocratic powers. A draft constitution was approved by an Islamist-led constituent assembly Friday, fueling further discontent for many liberals, Christians and women’s rights supporters.

Protesters marched on the palace Tuesday to revoke the decree and the referendum on the constitution, which is expected to take place on December 15. Fighting broke out on Wednesday as supporters of the Egyptian president came to the site of the demonstration.

A physician interviewed by Egypt Independent said that the makeshift clinic set up near the protests has treated injuries caused by stones, knives, and birdshots. The five dead have all died from birdshot pellets, the Egyptian newspaper reported.

Soldiers urged both sides to stop and helped calm the flare-up. The head of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badi called for unity Thursday, saying divisions only served "the nation's enemies."

Critics slammed the Muslim Brotherhood’s downplaying of the protests.

Although General Mohamed Zaki has told journalists that armed forces “will not be used as a tool to oppress the demonstrators," tear gas was used Tuesday against anti-Mursi protesters.

(Al-Akhbar, Reuters)

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