Tense calm in front of presidential palace, governorates after all-night clashes

Ahram Online, Nada Hussein Rashwan, Saturday 9 Feb 2013

Violence outside the Cairo presidential palace and some governorates in Egypt comes to a cautious halt Saturday morning after a night of continuous clashes

Protesters and police forces exchange rock-throwing during clashes at the presidential palace in Cairo Friday (Photo: Reuters)

After a spike in violence during protests Friday evening, clashes between anti-Morsi protesters and police forces in front of the presidential palace and around several governorates have subsided by Saturday morning.

Police forces at the presidential palace dispersed a sit-in by a group of protesters early Saturday morning with continuous teargas rounds following clashes at the presidential palace between security forces and hundreds of protesters Friday evening. The protesters removed the barbed wire and barricades protecting one of the palace's gates and some threw Molotov cocktails towards the gate.

Some of the clashes that had broken out in several governorates on Friday night only came to a halt by Saturday morning after dozens were injured, mostly from the teargas.

In the governorate of Gharbiya, which has seen clashes in three cities: Mahalla, Tanta and Kafr El-Zayat, clashes continued into the night, where battles involving Molotovs, rocks and teargas ensued after protesters attempted to storm governorate offices and a police station.

At least 135 injuries, including 60 policemen, were reported by health ministry officials in Gharbiya by Saturday morning.

In the Delta governorate of Sharqiya, hometown of President Mohamed Morsi, clashes broke out again Saturday morning after having stopped Friday night. Dozens of protesters attempted to storm the governorate office with rocks and Molotovs, to which police responded to by launching teargas rounds.

A number of leading opposition groups called for mass protests on Friday against Morsi's government and the Muslim Brotherhood, whose political arm had fielded him in the presidential elections.

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