Cairo, Oct. 12 (Reuters): Opponents and supporters of Egypt’s President Mohamed Mursi clashed in Cairo today in the first street violence between rival factions since the Islamist leader took office.
Islamists and their opponents threw stones, bottles and petrol bombs, and some fought hand-to-hand, showing how feelings still run high between the rival groups trying to shape the new Egypt after decades of autocracy.
The state news agency cited a doctor at a hospital near Tahrir Square saying 41 people had been injured.
A government is in place, but Islamists and liberals are at loggerheads over the drafting of the new Constitution, which must be agreed before a new parliament can be elected.
Many of the thousands who gathered in Tahrir Square were angry at this week’s court ruling that acquitted former officials charged with ordering a camel and horseback charge on protesters in the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak last year.
But even before that ruling, Mursi’s opponents had called for protests against what they say is his failure to deliver on his promises for his first 100 days in office.
“Down, down with rule by the guide,” Mursi’s opponents chanted, suggesting that Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie pulls the strings. “Mursi, Mursi”, the President’s backers responded. Some demonstrators pulled down a temporary podium.