An anti-Mursi protester flashes victory signs after
protesters burn Muslim Brotherhood buses during clashes
near the Muslim Brotherhood's national headquarters in
Cairo. Photo by Reuters
Several thousand opponents of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood
have clashed with supporters of the Islamist group near its
headquarters in Cairo, and at least 40 people are wounded.
Columns of riot police fired tear gas as the rival groups
tussled in the streets around the Brotherhood headquarters.
Protesters hurled Molotov cocktails and stones, a witness
Earlier in the day, Brotherhood supporters had arrived in the
vicinity on buses, were showered with stones from the
protesters and threw stones back.
About 40 people were wounded in the fighting, Health Ministry
official Khaled al-Khatib told state news agency MENA. They
included a former presidential candidate, liberal Khaled Ali,
who was injured in the shoulder, MENA said.
State TV showed large plumes of black smoke rising from the
surrounding streets which it said came from buses set on
fire. The buses belonged to the Brotherhood, an official from
the group told MENA, who said protesters had set them alight.
The Brotherhood, of which President Mohamed Mursi is a
leading member, had vowed on Thursday to defend the building.
The Interior Ministry urged "revolutionary and political
forces" to remain peaceful during the protests, saying in a
statement it had sent riot police to protect property.
"The Interior Ministry has sent riot police forces to the
headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood to protect public and
private property," it said in a statement.
Anti-Brotherhood protesters clashed with police outside the
building this week, the latest burst of unrest in a nation
still struggling to restore law and order since its 2011
The police did not appear to have been involved in Friday's
clashes between rival groups of demonstrators.
In Egypt's second city Alexandria, a Brotherhood office was
broken into and vandalised, said Anis al-Qadi, a spokesman
for the Brotherhood in the city. Clashes also erupted in
Mursi's home province of Sharqia, in the Nile Delta, state TV
Although nationwide protests have dwindled since the end of
last year when thousands took to the streets after Mursi gave
himself sweeping powers, Egypt is still deeply split between
Islamists, including the Brotherhood, and opposition groups.
Unrest has erupted in other Egyptian cities this month,
including deadly clashes in Port Said, on the Suez Canal,
between police and residents angered over death sentences
handed down in a football riot court case.
The turmoil is hindering the efforts of Mursi, elected in
June, to revive an economy in crisis and reverse a fall in
Egypt's currency by luring back investors and tourists.