Four buses belonging to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood were torched and about 120 people were injured in clashes between opposition protesters and the group’s loyalists near the Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo.
The violence erupted after activists marched to the building guarded by police and Brotherhood members. More than 120 people were hurt as the two sides pelted each other with stones, emergency services chief Mohammed Soltan told MENA.
Shots were heard as hundreds of opposition activists and the Islamists battled in the streets of the Mokattam neighborhood where the headquarters are situated, but there were no immediate reports of gunshot casualties.
Police had fired tear gas at the protesters outside the headquarters before the clashes moved elsewhere in the neighborhood.
Protesters captured and beat three Brotherhood members. They also smashed up an ambulance evacuating a wounded Brotherhood supporter and detained him, an AFP correspondent said.
Al Arabiya correspondent in Cairo said an office branch of the Brotherhood in Cairo was torched and ransacked and that the Justice and Freedom Party (JFP) building in Alexandria was also looted. The party is the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Opposition activists had called for the protest a week after they battled with the Islamists near the same building in Cairo. The movement vowed on Thursday it would protect its headquarters and bused in hundreds of supporters.
The Brotherhood has seen about 30 of its offices across the country attacked in widespread protests against President Mohamed Mursi, the Islamists’ successful candidate in last June’s election.
In the Nile Delta city of Mahalla on Friday, protesters set fire to another of the Brotherhood offices, throwing petrol bombs at the building, the state news agency MENA reported.
The Brotherhood, well-organized despite decades of persecution under former strongman Hosni Mubarak and his predecessors, was the main winner of parliamentary and senate elections last year.
But its critics accuse it and Mursi of mirroring the tactics used by Mubarak against the opposition.
The Islamists clashed before with opposition activists, most notoriously in December when at least 11 people were killed in clashes outside the presidential palace after Mursi adopted extensive powers, since repealed.