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Clashes lead to heavy casualties in Egypt protests
Two were killed and dozens injured on Friday in clashes between supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and police across Egypt, official news agency MENA reported.
A 28-years-old man was shot dead during demonstrations held after Muslims' Friday prayer in the Canal Suez city, the report said without specifying to which side he belonged.
Protesters backing Morsi built a human barrier and fired Molotov cocktail, and threw rocks at shops and security forces.
They also burnt tires, whose flames caused four children to suffer suffocation.
Ten more were injured during the confrontation, including a child who was shot in his neck, MENA reported.
Another 17-years-old man was killed in Faiyum province southern the capital of Cairo and several people were wounded including a man in serious conditions after being shot in belly, it added.
Egypt has been witnessing almost daily demonstrations staged by Morsi' supporters since the army removed him in July in response to nationwide protests against his rule.
The icy winter weather didn't hinder protests across the country to take to the streets and main squares. Police fired tear gas and water canon to disperse the protesters defying a new controversial protest law that regulates demonstrations by requiring participants to receive state approval beforehand.
The protesters torched a police car in Suez and another one in Qena southern Egypt.
In Adwa village, hometown of Morsi in Sharqiya province, the protesters continued demonstrations till late hours. They raised their four fingers, a political gesture in support of the Rabaa al- Adawiya sit-in that was dispersed in August by security forces in a crackdown which left hundreds dead.
They also carried pictures for the people killed from the Muslim Brotherhood, a group of Morsi, and placards calling for the reinstatement of legitimacy in reference to the Islamist leader.
They also chanted against the military and the security forces, "no matter snow or rains, down with military rule," "Egyptians will resist despite heavy rains."
Three policemen were injured and other three civilians were wounded by birdshots on Friday, statement of the interior ministry said.
The statement added 54 rioters were arrested, and the police seized weapons and Molotov with them.
Also dozens of protesters were injured in clashed between the supporters and opponents of Morsi in Delta city of Mahala.
Across the capital, the protesters blocked the main roads leading to Rabaa mosque in Nasr city, and the compass of Al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam's most prominent educational institution.
Students supporting Morsi have been staging daily protests for months inside and outside their universities.
The National Alliance for Supporting Legitimacy, a coalition supporting Morsi, has called for Friday protests they have dubbed "Students inflame revolutions."
The hardline Ansar Beit Al-Maqdes, which claimed responsibility for a car bomb targeted interior ministry in September and other terrorist operations in Sinai, commended the students role in the universities protests, urging them to stir violence and unpeaceful protests in the face of tyrant police and armed forces.
It added in a statement posed on its website on Friday, that " uprooting the coup and the corrupt regimes is a religious duty."
Meanwhile, Dozens of Alexandria residents took to the street Friday to show support for Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.
They urged Sisi to run for presidency, chanting in favor of the new constitution.
The protests came one day before the interim president Adli Mansour will announce the date of holding referendum over the new draft constitution.
The new constitution is an important milestone in the political transition plan drawn up by the army-installed interim government that took office after Islamist President Morsi was deposed by the military on July 3.
Pro-Morsi's alliance has stated that they don't recognize the roadmap and will boycott the constitutional referendum.
"Participating in the process even with NO will give the army- installed government legitimacy," the alliance said in a statement.
Concerns raised in Egypt over referendum process, as some experts predict Muslim Brotherhood will take from the event a chance to spread chaos in the country to hinder the future roadmap.
As so, the security forces will deploy 250,000 officers and soldiers to secure the citizens, security source told state-run Ahram newspapers on Friday, citing utmost state of alert inside the armed forces.
[Source: Xinhua, Cairo, 13Dec13]
Crisis in Egypt
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