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Clashes in Egypt's Mahalla subside, 129 injured: Security official

Fighting between Muslim Brotherhood and protesters opposed to President Morsi's declaration leaves scores injured in Egypt's Mahalla governorate

Ahram Online, Wednesday 28 Nov 2012
A photograph of the clashes in Mahalla, (Photo: Ahram Arabic news website).

Relative calm returned to the Delta city of Mahalla, capital of Egypt's Gharbiya governorate, after clashes subsided on Thursday between protesters and Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters.

Protesters demonstrating against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's constitutional declaration – which makes his decisions impervious to judicial challenge – clashed with supporters of the move on Wednesday, leading to more than one hundred injuries.

According to health officials, 129 were injured in the melee, 67 of whom suffered from birdshot wounds, according to Egypt's official news agency MENA.

MENA quoted Gharbiya security chief Hatem Osman as saying that the clashes had wound down.

Police were able to separate the two rival camps, standing between the offices of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party and protesters, MENA reported.

Wednesday's clashes, which featured Molotov cocktails, stones and birdshot, lasted for over five hours.  

Osman refuted claims that a protester had been killed in the fighting.

Over a hundred thousand protesters thronged to Cairo's Tahrir square on Tuesday in one of the biggest protests seen since the 2011 uprising against ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

Protesters object to Morsi's recent decree, which also gave him the power to appoint a new prosecutor-general and bars the High Constitutional Court from dissolving the Shura Council (the upper, consultative house of Egypt's parliament) and the Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting a new constitution.

The Constituent Assembly is seen by its critics as being unrepresentative of Egyptian society. Its critics also claim it is dominated by Islamist forces that are monopolising the charter-drafting process.

A plethora of non-Islamist groups have protested Morsi's declaration and are holding an open-ended sit-in in Tahrir Square. Protests both for and against the president's decision have been staged over the last week.

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