May 20, 2013
Egypt's liberals, Islamists clash, 110 reported injured
Opponents and supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi clashed in Cairo on Friday in the first street violence between rival factions since the Islamist leader took office.
Islamists and their opponents threw stones, bottles and petrol bombs, and some fought hand-to-hand, showing how feelings still run high between the rival groups trying to shape the new Egypt after decades of autocracy, although the streets have generally been calmer since Mursi's election in June.
The Health Ministry said 110 people had sustained light to moderate injuries, state media reported.
A government is in place, but Islamists and liberals are at loggerheads over the drafting of the new constitution, which must be agreed before a new parliament can be elected.
Many of the thousands who gathered in Tahrir Square were angry at this week's court ruling that acquitted former officials charged with ordering a camel-and-horseback charge on protesters in the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak last year.
But even before that ruling, Mursi's opponents had called for protests against what they say is his failure to deliver on his promises for his first 100 days in office.
"Down, down with rule by the guide!" Mursi's opponents chanted, suggesting that Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie pulls the strings even though Mursi officially quit the Brotherhood on taking office.
"Mursi! Mursi!" the president's backers responded.
Late on Friday, a statement issued by the cabinet condemned the events saying they hinder the government's political and economic efforts. It said Prime Minister Hisham Kandil "calls on all parties present in Tahrir Square and the other squares and places to stay away from any action that would tarnish the image of new Egypt."