Two killed in Egypt street clashes, dozens hurt

Protesters call for Egyptian president Morsi to resign; dozens injured in street fighting in northern Cairo.

June 27, 2013 10:14
1 minute read.
A man argues with a worker at a petrol station during a fuel shortage in Cairo June 26, 2013.

Egyptians argue over petrol shortage 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Two people were killed and dozens injured in street fighting on Wednesday north of Cairo between supporters and opponents of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, hours before the Islamist leader was set to address the nation.

With Egypt gripped by fears of a showdown between Muslim Brotherhood members and their opponents, security sources said 90 people were wounded in the city of Mansoura after hundreds were involved in rock-throwing street skirmishes. Witnesses heard gunfire and state television showed a man hospitalized with birdshot wounds.

Similar outbursts of violence, often prompted by one side or the other staging rallies, have hit towns across the country in recent days. At least two men died last weekend. The opposition plans mass protests this weekend, calling for Mursi to resign.

According to information leaked to Al-Arabiya TV, Morsi was expected to announce late Wednesday evening that former regime members were plotting against him, and to disclose their names.

He was also expected to say that opposition leaders such as Mohamed ElBaradei had rejected concessions that he had offered them, including high-level positions.

In addition, he was set to reject opposition calls for him to resign or hold early elections, according to the report.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian paper Al-Masry al-Youm reported on Wednesday that Sheikh Saber Hamza – a leader of the Islamist Jama’a al-Islamiya organization’s political wing, the Construction and Development Party – said that the upcoming opposition protest on June 30 would be “a day of jihad in the way of Allah and the protection of the Islamic law and the legitimacy of Dr. Morsi.”

He also warned that Christians, secularists and remnants of the old regime threatened the country’s national security.

Islamist groups in Egypt are forming vigilante groups ahead of Sunday’s opposition protests. The groups’ aim is to defend the government’s facilities and prevent any violence, according to a report in the Egyptian Independent.

A number of opposition leaders turned down an invitation to attend Morsi’s Wednesday night speech, according to a report by Ahram Online.

The opposition is demanding early presidential elections. The National Salvation Front, Egypt’s largest opposition coalition, said it was also boycotting any talks with the Morsi government.

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