12/06/2012, 00.00
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Egyptian army deploys tanks. Clashes between democrats and Islamists: 5 dead and 350 injured

Tension rises after the escalation of violence outside the presidential palace. Stones and Molotov cocktails launched between Morsi supporters and young Democrats. Opposition leaders accuse the Muslim Brotherhood of fomenting the unrest. On December 4, the "last warning march " began against the dictatorship of the Islamists.

Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Egyptian army has deployed four tanks and three armored vehicles outside the presidential palace, after the death of five people and injuring of at least another 350 in the violent clashes last night between democrats and Islamists. Tensions remain high, and again there were explosions this morning in the streets of Cairo as well as attacks between the two factions, with stone throwing and Molotov cocktails. Opposition leaders accuse the supporters of President Mohamed Morsi of inciting violence and first attacking the peaceful demonstrators who have protested for two days to say no "to the dictatorship of the Muslim Brotherhood and a constitution written by the Islamists."

On 4 December, tens of thousands of people launched the "last warning march," which began from the mosques of al-Rabaa Adawaya (Nasr) and el-Nour (Abassya) and headed towards the presidential palace in Heliopolis. To stop the Democrats, supporters of President Morsi organized a procession around the building to defend their leader. The protests degenerated, until the climax of violence reached yesterday evening.

For the moment, the police have arrested 32 people. Meanwhile, protests have spread to other cities in Egypt, and the offices of the Muslim Brotherhood in Ismailia and Suez attacked.

The opposition is demanding Morsi strke down laws that give full power (legislative, executive and judicial) in this transition, and to revise the provisional constitution, written solely by the Islamists. Meanwhile, several judges of the Constitutional Court have questioned Morsi's actions, and threatened to boycott the constitutional referendum scheduled for December 15. Until that day, the Islamists say they are "determined" to block any opposition action. If the new constitution is passed, Egypt could turn into a confessional state, not based on the principles of Sharia law, but on specific Koranic norms.


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