Clashes in Cairo after Mursi seizes new powers

Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:01pm EST
 
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By Marwa Awad

CAIRO (Reuters) - Angry youths hurled rocks at security forces and burned a police truck as thousands gathered in central Cairo to protest at Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi's decision to grab sweeping new powers.

Police fired tear gas near Tahrir Square, heart of the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak at the height of the Arab Spring. Thousands demanded that Mursi should quit and accused him of launching a "coup".

There were also violent protests in Alexandria, Port Said and Suez.

Mursi on Thursday issued a decree that puts his decisions beyond any legal challenge until a new parliament is elected. Opponents immediately accused him of turning into a new Mubarak and hijacking the Egyptian revolution.

"This is the point of no return for Mursi. He has dug himself deeper in a hole and won't know how to get out of it," said Ahmed Saleh, an activist who said many would stay in Tahrir square until Mursi withdrew the decree.

"The people want to bring down the regime," shouted protesters in Tahrir, echoing a chant used in the uprising that forced Mubarak to step down.

The United States, the European Union and the United Nations expressed concern at Mursi's move.

Mursi's rivals condemned him as an autocratic pharaoh who wanted to impose his Islamist vision on Egypt.   Continued...

 
A protester cheers as items ransacked from an office of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party burn in Alexandria November 23, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer