Clashes Intensify As Night Falls In Cairo

Category: Politics / Feb 01, 2013 3:55PM EDT
Clashes between opponents of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi demonstrating outside the presidential palace in Cairo and police guarding the site intensified as night fell over Cairo on Friday (February 1). Demonstrators continued to hurl molotov cocktails and launch fireworks at and over the outer wall of the presidential compound, only hours after thousands of peaceful demonstrators dispersed. Police vehicles blocked the entrance to one of the roads leading to the palace but protester could be seen milling around. Demonstrators, some of whom have turned violent, were calling for the ouster of Mursi, after the deadliest violence of his seven months in power. Police fired water cannon and tear gas at the crowd. The roof of a building in the compound appeared to catch fire. Smoke shrouded the streets near the compound and protesters could be seen dragging barbed wire barricades along. The head of the Republican Guard, which protects the palace, condemned the attack and what he described as attempts to climb the compound walls and storm one of its gates. In a statement to the state news agency, he urged the protesters to keep their demonstration peaceful. Earlier there were scuffles in the central Tahrir Square, focal point of the revolution that overthrew authoritarian President Hosni Mubarak two years ago. Police fired tear gas at stone throwing youths. However there were no reports of serious bloodshed by nightfall. Protests marking the second anniversary of the uprising that toppled Mubarak have killed nearly 60 people since Jan. 25, prompting the head of the army to warn this week that the state was on the verge of collapse. Video Source: Reuters