At least one person was killed and 11 others were wounded by gunfire in clashes between supporters and opponents of ousted President Mohammad Mursi in Cairo on Tuesday night, Al Arabiya TV reported.
The clashes took place in al-Haram street where Mursi supporters were marching in an evening rally.
Another pro-Mursi rally was held in the evening at the upscale Maadi district and it was led mainly by women and children, Al Arabiya correspondent at the scene reported.
Supporters and opponents of Mursi had clashed earlier in a central Cairo neighborhood hurling rocks at each other as police fired tear gas.
The violence began when dozens of religious scholars affiliated with Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood entered the religious endowments ministry and were ordered out by police, a security official told AFP.
The scholars were joined by more pro-Mursi protesters who damaged shop fronts, AFP reported. That further infuriated the residents, who pelted them with stones, leading to sporadic scuffles on several streets.
The clashes spread to several streets and brought Cairo traffic to a standstill.
“There’s no going forward with negotiations, the only way is back. Mursi must be reinstated, “said Karim Ahmed, a student in a blue hard-hat who waved a picture of Mursi as he flung rocks at a ministry building, Reuters reported.
Mursi took office in June 2012 but his policies failed to meet the demands of the liberal forces that triggered the Jan. 25 revolution against Hosni Mubarak.
Mursi was accused of failing to be the president of all Egyptians and of taking orders directly from the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau.
Economic woes further eroded Mursi’s popularity. Repeated electricity outages and gasoline shortage sparked public anger against him.
Some Brotherhoods say those problems were intentionally created by members of Hosni’s Mubarak’s regime who were still activist in the “deep state.”
Loyalists of the deposed president have set up two huge Cairo protest camps and have held near daily demonstrations for his reinstatement since his overthrow by the military on July 3.
The standoff with the army-backed interim government, which has threatened to disperse the protest camps where thousands of Islamists have been staying for more than a month, has sparked international fears of further bloodshed.
Clashes between pro- and anti-Mursi demonstrators and security forces have killed more than 250 people since the end of June.
Since police issued an ultimatum last week to end the protests, the Islamists have repeatedly called for new demonstrations.
The Anti-Coup Alliance called for a “million-man demonstration “as the judiciary extended Mursi’s detention on Monday for a further 15 days pending an investigation into his collaboration with Palestinian group Hamas, AFP reported.
Mursi’s backers set as their rallying cry: “Together against the coup d’etat and the Zionists, “ in an appeal to nationalist sentiment after a deadly air strike on militants in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, which the jihadists said was carried out by an Israeli drone.
Israeli media say the Jewish state has been cooperating closely with Egypt over the threat from Sinai militants.
Authorities have announced plans to clear the pro-Mursi protest camps from Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya and Nahda squares by “gradual steps. “
But the number of protesters in the squares has not diminished.
(With AFP and Reuters)
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