Violence erupts at Cairo protest calling on Morsi to resign


Sun, May 19, 2013 - Page 6

Demonstrators calling for Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to resign and demanding early elections clashed with riot police in Cairo on Friday.

Hundreds of people had marched on Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday for the protest, called by a number of opposition groups.

The demonstrators, most of them teenagers, threw Molotov cocktails at the policem who replied with volleys of tear gas canisters, but there were no reports of casualties.

The clashes took place near Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the symbolic heart of the opposition movement that brought down the-Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.

Earlier on Friday, marches had begun in various parts of the capital with the aim of converging on Tahrir Square.

At the head of one march people were carrying two large banners, one reading “an early presidential election” and the other “a unifying constitution for Egypt.”

Marchers from the Tamarod (rebellion) campaign, which claims to have garnered more than 2 million signatures demanding that Morsi resign, collected more names from people along the route.

Before the clashes, state media said security had been beefed up around the Egyptian Ministry of the Interior, close to the square, as it has been the scene of violent confrontations in the past.

The protest was called by groups including the Constitution Party of former International Atomic Energy Agency director-general Mohamed ElBaradei and the April 6 movement that spearheaded the 2011 uprising.

The opposition accuses Morsi of governing only in the interests of his Muslim Brotherhood, but he insists that he is the “president of all Egyptians.”

Since Morsi was elected in June last year, Egypt has continued to suffer from a serious political and economic crisis, and there have often been frequent clashes between his opponents and supporters.