Clashes have broken out in two cities in northern Egypt between opponents and supporters of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. In Cairo, hundreds have rallied against the country’s under-fire prosecutor general.
At least 10 people were injured during clashes Friday, the state news agency MENA reported. In the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, nine people were hurt and hospitalized after fighting erupted in the Sidi Gaber district near offices of the Morsi-backing Muslim Brotherhood, MENA said quoting health ministry official Khaled al-Khatib.
Unidentified assailants threw stones and firebombs at the protesters, who hurled stones back. The clashes also halted train traffic for a few hours at a station near the site.
In the Nile River Delta city of Zagazig, 50 miles north of the capital Cairo, protesters fought with riot police after trying to set fire to a Brotherhood office.
More than 30 of the Brotherhood’s offices have been attacked across the country during anti-Morsi protests in recent weeks.
Prosecutor general controversy
One person was injured in Cairo when hundreds of people demonstrated outside the High Court. Protesters were demanding the resignation of Talaat Abdullah, the prosecutor general. Abdullah was controversially appointed by Morsi in November after he fired the previous prosecutor general as part of a decree issuing him sweeping powers.
The protesters, clapping and beating drums, sealed off Abdullah’s office with locks and chains and displayed a sign reading: “Leave. Enough.”
On Monday, the prosecutor general issued arrest warrants for five of Egypt’s most prominent democracy advocates and activists, alleging they instigated violence last week at the Brotherhood’s Cairo headquarters. Over 200 people were injured in that violence, the worst in three months between anti-government protesters and Brotherhood supporters.
Morsi’s opponents accuse the president of consolidating power by putting himself above the law to force through his agenda and interfering with the judiciary’s independence.
In an affront to Morsi, an Egyptian court Wednesday overturned Abdullah’s appointment. The court ordered for the reinstatement of the man Morsi fired, Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, prompting calls from the opposition to back the move in demonstrations Friday.
dr/jm (AP, AFP)