Tanks, APCs deployed to presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt after deadly clashes

Thursday, December 6, 2012

At least four tanks and several armored personnel carriers (APC) have been deployed outside the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt following clashes between supporters and opponents of president Mohamed Morsi where as many as six people were killed. More than 700 others have been reported injured.

Opponents of Morsi began camping outside the palace on Tuesday night after hundreds of thousands protested new presidential decrees in Tahrir Square. On Wednesday, supporters of Morsi stormed the encampment and tore down tents belonging to opponents and attacked them. Some threw rocks at them while others threw molotov cocktails, forcing opponents to retreat. Clashes continued into the early morning hours before subsiding.

"I've seen Molotov cocktails, people armed with iron bars and rocks, some people even pulling branches off of trees in terms of trying to find some kind of weapon to fight with", said Elizabeth Arrott, a reporter with Voice of America who was at the palace when clashes were taking place. Several journalists were also reported attacked in the clashes. People on each side have blamed the other for starting the violence.

Protests both in support of and opposing Morsi broke out around Egypt after he enacted new powers on November 22 that include making his decisions free from judicial oversight. Hisham Kandil, Egypt's prime minister, called for calm, to "give the opportunity for the efforts being made now to begin a national dialogue". A referendum is to be presented on December 15 outlining a new constitution for the country.

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