A draft constitution has sparked outrage in post-revolution Egypt. A decision by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to extend his power during constitutional debate brought concerns about the growing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement from which he hails.
The U.S. Embassy in Cairo advised U.S. citizens in the country to avoid downtown Cairo amid heightened tensions.
"At around 1:30 this morning, armed individuals fired into the area of the square where anti-MB protestors are staging a sit-in," a Tuesday statement from the embassy read. "Nine people were reportedly shot."
U.N. rights officials have said some provisions in the draft constitution were cause for concern.
Human Rights Watch said it was frustrated by Morsi's decision to give the military the power to arrest civilians.
"Any deployment of the Egyptian military to help maintain security needs to be accompanied by guarantees to respect basic rights," Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.
A national vote on the constitution is scheduled for Saturday. Protests are expected throughout the week.