Four dead in clashes around Egypt's presidential palace
Four demonstrators died in ongoing clashes between opponents and supporters of Egyptian head of state Mohamed Mursi around the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt's top rescue official said early Thursday.
Mohamed Soltan told journalists that three were shot dead, while nearly 350 others were wounded.
Another demonstrator died after being hit by buckshot, the official MENA news agency reported Mashiyet el-Bakri hospital chief Milad Ismail as saying.
It was the worst violence in Egypt since Mursi became the country's first Islamist president in June.
He drew the wrath of the opposition and many in the magistrature by assuming exceptional powers under a November 22 decree.
Allies and foes of Mursi late Wednesday started lobbing fire bombs and rocks at each other in the plush Heliopolis neighbourhood in a Cairo suburb, with shots ringing out early Thursday.
Many of the opposition had left and a few hundred protesters remained outside the palace.
The violence spread beyond the capital, with protesters torching the offices of the powerful Muslim Brotherhood in the Mediterranean port city of Ismailiya and in Suez, witnesses said.