Clashes in Egypt as Morsi defends new powers

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt is experiencing the most violent and widespread protests since its Islamist president came to power.

Thousands of opponents of Mohammed Morsi clashed with his supporters today in cities across the country, burning several offices of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The protests were sparked by Morsi's move to grant himself sweeping powers. The violence reflects the increasing polarization in Egypt over what course it will take nearly two years after the fall of Hosni Mubarak.

Critics of Morsi accuse him of seizing dictatorial powers with his decrees yesterday that make him immune to judicial oversight and give him authority to take any steps against "threats to the revolution."

Morsi spoke to a crowd of his supporters massed in front of his palace today saying, "there are weevils eating away at the nation of Egypt."

In Cairo, security forces used tear gas on thousands of pro-democracy protesters clashing with riot police on streets several blocks from Tahir Square.

In Alexandria, anti-Morsi crowds attacked Brotherhood backers coming out of a mosque, raining stones and firecrackers on them. The two sides pelted each other with stones and chunks of marble, leaving at least 15 injured.

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