Clashes broke out in the coastal city of Alexandria on Friday between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi.
According to Al-Ahram’s Arabic news website, the clashes erupted when an anti-Morsi march confronted a group of Muslim Brotherhood supporters in front of the iconic Al-Qaed Ibrahim mosque following Friday prayers.
Fistfights and stone-throwing broke out between the two sides. The supporters of the president managed to secure themselves inside the mosque, while the anti-Morsi protesters besieged the building, demanding that the police arrest those inside that they accused of causing injuries.
No official figures for those injured have been released so far.
A similar scene occurred in Alexandria last December, when activists besieged Al-Qaed Ibrahim mosque for a whole day after controversial preacher Ahmed El-Mahalawy had urged worshippers to vote yes in the constitutional referendum during his Friday sermon.
Clashes later erupted between supporters of El-Mahalawy and opponents, leaving dozens injured.
Several Egyptian governorates have seen a rise in tension between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and opponents over recent days, with anticipated anti-Morsi protests on 30 June fast approaching.
The hostility further intensified after Morsi appointed Muslim Brotherhood members to seven regional governorships on Sunday, putting eleven of Egypt’s 27 provinces under the control of Brotherhood-affiliated governors.
The appointments provoked clashes in several governorates, with dozens injured in Fayoum, Kafr El-Sheikh, Daqahliya and Gharbiya over the last few days.
In Cairo on Friday afternoon, tens of thousands of Islamists are participating in an anti-violence protest, called for by Morsi’s supporters.
On Thursday, the pro-Morsi ‘Impartiality’ campaign announced that organisers had gathered 11 million signatures in support of the president.
The campaign was formed to counter the anti-Morsi Rebel signature drive, which announced on Thursday that it had met its target of collecting 15 million signatures opposing the president.
Opposition forces are calling for protests on 30 June to press for immediate presidential elections.