Huge Rival Rallies Clog Egypt's Cities

Demonstrators hit the streets as Morsi faces new charges

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jul 26, 2013 2:06 PM CDT

(Newser) – Egypt is tense today as thousands of supporters and opponents of the ousted Mohamed Morsi hold simultaneous protests. Clashes erupted outside a major mosque in the coastal city of Alexandria, with the two sides throwing stones and firing birdshot at each other. Police and army forces lobbed tear gas and deployed soldiers but were unable to break up the fighting, which killed two people and injured 24. Minor scuffles erupted in a Cairo neighborhood and in the Nile Delta city of Damietta with at least 18 injured, according to health officials.

The demonstrations come as prosecutors opened an investigation of Morsi on charges including murder and conspiracy with the Palestinian militant group Hamas. A spokesman for Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood said the move to prosecute Morsi showed "the complete bankruptcy of the leaders of the bloody coup." Massive crowds, meanwhile, poured into main squares in Cairo and other cities in support of the military after the army chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi called for rallies. El-Sissi said days earlier he hoped for a giant public turnout to give him a mandate to stop "violence and terrorism," raising speculation he may be planning a crackdown on pro-Morsi protests.

Supporters of Egypt's top military officer, Gen. Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi, rally near Tahrir Square.
Supporters of Egypt's top military officer, Gen. Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi, rally near Tahrir Square.   (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
Supporters and opponents of Mohamed Morsi clash in Alexandria, Egypt.
Supporters and opponents of Mohamed Morsi clash in Alexandria, Egypt.   (AP Photo/Tarek Elframawy)
Opponents of Mohamed Morsi chant slogans and carry a large national flag during a protest at the presidential palace in Cairo.
Opponents of Mohamed Morsi chant slogans and carry a large national flag during a protest at the presidential palace in Cairo.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Supporters of Egypt's top military officer, Gen. Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi, march over a bridge leading to Tahrir Square in Cairo.
Supporters of Egypt's top military officer, Gen. Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi, march over a bridge leading to Tahrir Square in Cairo.   (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
Egyptian soldiers stand guard atop an armored personnel vehicle on a bridge that leads to Tahrir Square.
Egyptian soldiers stand guard atop an armored personnel vehicle on a bridge that leads to Tahrir Square.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
A supporter of Mohamed Morsi holds a photo of him as she chants slogans during a protest near Cairo University.
A supporter of Mohamed Morsi holds a photo of him as she chants slogans during a protest near Cairo University.   (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
A supporter of Mohamed Morsi holds a poster that reads Morsi...legitimacy during a protest near Cairo University.
A supporter of Mohamed Morsi holds a poster that reads "Morsi...legitimacy" during a protest near Cairo University.   (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
Opponents of Mohamed Morsi chant slogans and hold a poster depicting the country's top general in Cairo.
Opponents of Mohamed Morsi chant slogans and hold a poster depicting the country's top general in Cairo.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
A man flashes victory signs at an Egyptian military helicopter as it flies over the presidential palace in Cairo.
A man flashes victory signs at an Egyptian military helicopter as it flies over the presidential palace in Cairo.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
A supporter of Mohamed Morsi holds a banner with the face of Morsi during a protest near Cairo University.
A supporter of Mohamed Morsi holds a banner with the face of Morsi during a protest near Cairo University.   (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)
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