Egyptian President's supporters clash with rioters in Cairo
Clashes pitted Egyptian against Egyptian and were the most serious since Morsi's election
Wednesday 05 December 2012
A street war was erupting close to the presidential palace in Cairo tonight as the first major clashes broke out between Mohamed Morsi's supporters and opponents outraged over his recent power grab.
In what could herald a dangerous breach within Egyptian society, several thousand protesters hurled rocks and petrol bombs at one and other in the side streets close to the palace.
The east Cairo district of Heliopolis – normally a placid middle-class neighbourhood – was echoing to the sound of exploding fireworks and ambulance sirens tonight.
Smashed masonry and broken glass littered the avenues, while protesters ripped down steel building site barriers to erect makeshift barricades. At one point a fire engine was forced to speedily reverse away from the rioting after being attacked by anti-Morsi protesters.
"There is war in Egypt now," said Ahmad Khatab, a 27-year-old anti-Morsi protester.
Nobel laureate Mohamed el-Baradei, a leading opposition figure and former presidential contender, accused the President's supporters of a "vicious and deliberate" attack against peaceful demonstrators.
"This, in my view, is the end of any legitimacy this regime has," he said. "A regime that is not able to protect its people and is siding with his own thugs is a regime that lost its legitimacy and is leading Egypt into violence."
The battle lines were drawn earlier in the day when thousands of Morsi supporters arrived in Heliopolis to turf out the opposition activists who had conducted a sit-in the previous night.
After being forced away from the palace – the building used by Mohamed Morsi to conduct his official duties – the opposition protesters regrouped and returned en masse a few hours later.
By that time several thousand of the president's supporters – many of them, though by no means all of them, Islamists – had surrounded Mr Morsi's headquarters. When the two groups met, fighting erupted.
In a worrying sign of what could lie ahead, the clashes essentially pitted Egyptian against Egyptian in the most serious disturbances of their kind in the capital since Mr Morsi was elected.
A referendum on Egypt's new constitution is due on 15 December 15. The document has been a bone of contention for Mr Morsi's enemies.
- 1 What if 35 Palestinians had died, and 800 Israelis?
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 5 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star dies at age 45 after suffering from cancer
Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
Man who had whole face transplant after being shot in the face becomes GQ star
'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
Richard Dawkins says 'date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse' on Twitter
Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star dies at age 45 after suffering from cancer
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £22000 per annum, Benefits: Excellent Uncapped Commission Structure: ...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Charter Selection: This exciting entertainment comp...
£50 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you looking for a new a...
£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Ecommerce/Retail/E...