Two people were killed on Friday when clashes broke out between supporters and opponents of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, as thousands demonstrated despite a sustained government crackdown on Islamists.
The main rallies took place in the capital, Cairo, while other protests broke out elsewhere in the country including in the second-largest city, Alexandria, and the Nile Delta Province city of Damietta.
One person was killed in Alexandria and another in Damietta Province when clashes there erupted between protesters and supporters of Morsi, medics said.
Protesters rallied in the upscale suburb of Maadi following the weekly Friday Muslim prayers, reporters said.
Smaller protests erupted in the afternoon in several provinces across the country, official media said.
The protests come a day after Egyptian Minister of the Interior Mohammed Ibrahim survived a bomb targeting his convoy in which 21 people were injured. One of them died of his injuries on Friday, a health official said.
The Islamist Anti-Coup Alliance led by Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood called for Friday’s protests, but only managed to attract several thousand supporters, unlike past rallies when hundreds of thousands showed up.
The dwindling number of protesters come as police have pressed a crackdown on the Brotherhood, arresting hundreds of its members including its supreme guide, Mohammed Badie.
The security forces stormed two major pro-Morsi protest camps on Aug. 14, in an operation that saw hundreds of people killed.
Morsi was ousted by the military on July 3 after popular protests against his single year of turbulent rule. He is being held at an unknown location.
State media has said Morsi will stand trial in a criminal court for “incitement to murder” along with 14 other Brotherhood members, but no date has yet been given for the trial.
Morsi has been separately accused of crimes related to his 2011 escape from prison.
Since his ouster Egypt’s new authorities have arrested the Brotherhood’s supreme guide and more than 2,000 members, disrupting the group’s ability to mobilize supporters.
Last week Tuesday a military court gave a life sentence to a Brotherhood member and sentenced 51 others to jail for attacking soldiers in the canal city of Suez in July.
An Egyptian prosecutor also levelled new accusations against Morsi, alleging the Islamist had insulted the country’s judiciary when he was president, state media reported yesterday.
The prosecutor issued a new detention order for Morsi over his comments that judges had rigged a 2005 parliamentary election.
Morsi, who is already being held by the military at an unknown location, refused to cooperate with prosecutors, the official MENA news agency reported.
“The investigative prosecutors accused Mohamed Morsi of insulting the judiciary by accusing 22 judges of forging parliamentary elections in 2005,” the agency reported, without providing details.