Tanks Roll In as Clashes Rock Cairo

5 deaths, 600 injuries reported

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 6, 2012 4:22 AM CST | Updated Dec 6, 2012 7:49 AM CST

(Newser) – Violent protests in Cairo have reached a pitch not seen since the days of Egypt's recent revolution, the Wall Street Journal reports: Tens of thousands of demonstrators battled on the streets yesterday, with the AP reporting five dead and more than 600 injured as some threw rocks and Molotov cocktails. The Egyptian army deployed tanks outside the presidential palace today, as Mohamed Morsi conducted business as usual inside. The AP notes that all appeared calm this morning, with thousands of Morsi supporters camping outside the palace after driving away opposition activists.

The fighting had centered around the palace, where police established a barrier between the groups. Supporters of Morsi stormed an encampment of 200 protesters, ripping down their tents, the Los Angeles Times reports. "The problem is that these people could say no" in an upcoming constitutional referendum, "but they don't want a referendum," said one Morsi backer. "They don't want a democracy." Meanwhile, three of Morsi's non-Brotherhood aides have quit: "Egypt is bigger than a narrow-minded elite," said Seif Abdel Fattah. "We can no longer stay silent because (the Brotherhood has) harmed the nation and the revolution."

A supporter of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, pictured at right, chants slogans during a demonstration outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
An Egyptian protester with Arabic writing on his forehead that reads, "Muslims and Christians, one hand," attends a demonstration outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s supporters, background, clash with opponents, foreground, outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Protesters opposed to Mohamed Morsi evacuate an injured fellow protester during clashes in front of the president palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012.   (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
Protesters gather during clashes between supporters and opponents of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi outside the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012.   (AP Photo/Mostafa Elshemy)
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