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Fri May 22 19:36:48 SAST 2015

Police, protesters engage in fresh Cairo clashes

Sapa-dpa | 28 November, 2012 10:13
Anti-Mursi protesters chant anti-government slogans in Tahrir Square in Cairo.
Image by: MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY / REUTERS

New clashes erupted in Cairo between security forces and protesters angry at a decree by President Mohammed Morsi granting himself sweeping new powers, said witnesses.

Police fired tears gas against the stone-throwing protesters in Tahrir Square, where thousands have been camping out for several days in a bid to convince Morsi to rescind the decree.

State television confirmed that police had used tear gas to disperse protesters who were gathering near the US embassy.

Last week, Morsi signed a constitutional declaration exempting all his decisions and laws of judicial review and barred courts from dissolving an Islamist-controlled assembly drafting a new constitution.

The decree incensed the opposition and triggered violent clashes between Morsi's opponents and backers in several parts of the country.

Scores of people were late Tuesday injured in street violence over the decree in the Nile Delta town of Al Mahla Al Koubra, reported Egyptian television.

The opposition claims that the decree gives Morsi "dictatorial" powers.

Morsi, for his part, says the measures are "temporary" and are aimed at protecting the "revolution" that toppled Hosny Mubarak.

The standoff is the worst since Morsi became Egypt's first elected civilian and Islamist president, in June.

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