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Mursi opponents clash with police

5 years ago18 views




STORY: Opponents of President Mohamed Mursi clashed with Egyptian police on Tuesday (November 27) as thousands of protesters stepped up pressure on the Islamist to scrap a decree they say threatens the nation with a new era of autocracy.

Police fired tear gas at stone-throwing youths in streets off Cairo's Tahrir Square, center of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak last year. A 52-year-old protester died after inhaling the gas, the second fatality since Mursi announced the decree expanding his powers and preventing court challenges to his decisions last week.

Tuesday's protest called by leftists, liberals and other groups marked a deepening of the worst crisis since the Muslim Brotherhood politician was elected in June, and exposed a divide between the newly-empowered Islamists and their opponents.

Some protesters have been camped out since Friday in the square, and violence has flared around the country, including in a town north of Cairo where a Muslim Brotherhood youth was killed in clashes on Sunday. Hundreds more have been injured.

Mursi's move has also provoked a rebellion by judges and battered confidence in an economy struggling to recover from two years of turmoil.

Opponents have accused Mursi of behaving like a modern-day pharaoh. The United States, a big benefactor to Egypt's military, has expressed its concerns about more turbulence in a country that has a peace treaty with Israel.

Mursi's administration has defended his decree as an effort to speed up reforms and complete a democratic transformation. Opponents say it shows he has dictatorial instincts.

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