Protests turn violent in Egypt

Feb. 8, 2013 at 10:06 PM
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CAIRO, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Protesters clashed with police in Cairo, Alexandria and other Egyptian cities Friday with hundreds gathered at the presidential palace in the evening.

A demonstration in Cairo's Tahrir Square was largely peaceful, Ahram Online reported. But later at the presidential palace protesters tore down barbed wire barricades set up to protect the gates and threw Molotov cocktails and fireworks. Security forces responded by firing shots into the air and dispersing protesters with water cannons, the Egyptian newspaper said.

The demonstrators demanded the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, a longtime member of the Muslim Brotherhood and one of the founders of its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party.

"Down, down with the Muslim Brotherhood," protesters chanted.

Last week, two people were killed in a similar protest at the palace.

The day began with a sermon by Sheik Mazhar Shaheen at the Omar Makram mosque in Tahrir Square, al-Masry al-Youm reported. Shaheen denounced a fatwa issued last week by Mahmoud Shaaba, an Al-Azhar University professor who hosts a conservative TV show. Shaaba suggested those trying to bring down an elected leader are deserving of death and specifically named two leaders of the National Salvation Front.

"It is unbelievable that when a person opposes the ruling regime, he is threatened with death," Shaheen said.

In Alexandria, police used tear gas on stone-throwing protesters, Ahram Online said. In the Gharbiya governate in the Delta, demonstrators stormed a government building in Tanta. A confrontation in front of a police station in the Gharbiya city of Kafr el-Zayat wound up with rocks flying back and forth. The newspaper said 29 people were injured in the various altercations.

Police in Mahalla stopped a group from breaking into the city council chamber. The protesters responded to tear gas by throwing Molotov cocktails.

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