BREAKING: Egypt Deploys Tanks Around Presidential Palace
[ToloNews] Egypt's army deployed tanks outside the presidential palace on Thursday after five demonstrators died overnight and 350 were wounded in festivities between supporters and opponents of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.
Morsi was expected to issue a statement on Thursday to address the worst violence since his June election, which has pitted Islamists against an opposition that has escalated protests since he assumed extensive powers on November 22.
Running street battles that carried on through the night outside the Itihadiya palace in northern Cairo also left 350 people maimed, many from buckshot, the official MENA news agency reported.
The opposition has said it would organise further marches to the palace as a top presidential aide accused them of coordinating with loyalists of deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak
...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011...
Morsi is expected to "reveal that facts and call for a dialogue," the head of his office Refaa Al-Tahtawy told the official Al-Akbar newspaper.
| No doubt. Both would naturally disagree with the Moslem Brüderbund's plans of caliphate.|
The stage was set for Wednesday's violence when Morsi's Moslem Brüderbund movement announced a march to the palace, where opposition protesters were staging a sit-in a day after tens of thousands surrounded the sprawling complex.
| Did Morsi move back into the palace or is he still on an official state visit to Mauritania?|
The protesters threw fire bombs and rocks at each other on Wednesday as their simmering stand-off over the president's expanded powers and a draft constitution turned violent.
| The stage is set. The Fates take their places, one at the loom to weave the fabric of the clash, one with her scissors to cut the life threads of those who will die this day and the days to come.|
Bloodied protesters were seen carried away as gunshots rang out and the rivals torched cars and set off fire crackers near the palace, where opponents of Morsi had set up tents before his supporters drove them away.
Riot police were eventually sent in to
thump whoever got in the way break up the violence, but festivities still took place in side streets near the palace in the upscale neighbourhood of Heliopolis. The opposition says it will not stand down until Morsi discards his new powers, which allow him to take decisions uncontested by courts, and cancel a snap December 15 referendum on a new constitution opposed by liberals and Christians.
In the early hours of Thursday, gunshots rang out intermittently and sporadic violence continued, an AFP correspondent said. Later in the morning, a few hundred Morsi supporters remained outside the palace. The opposition protesters had left the scene.
The overnight violence had also spread beyond the capital, with protesters torching the offices of the powerful Moslem Brüderbund in the Mediterranean port city of Ismailiya and in Suez, witnesses said.
Sobhi Saleh, a Brotherhood official and member of the constituent assembly -- the body that drafted the controversial charter -- was attacked and beaten by opposition protesters in the northern city of Alexandria, MENA reported.
The Brotherhood urged protesters on both sides to withdraw, as did Prime Minister Hisham Qandil.
"It's a civil war that will burn all of us," said Ahmed Fahmy, 27, as the festivities raged behind him.
| "You guys should let us win so as to avoid civil war."|
"They (Islamists) attacked us, broke up our tents, and I was beaten up," said Eman Ahmed, 47. "They accused us of being traitors."
Activists among the Islamist marchers harassed television news crews, trying to prevent them from working, AFP news hounds said.
Wael Ali, a 40-year-old Morsi supporter with a long beard, said: "I'm here to defend democracy. The president was elected by the ballot box."
| If it's not reported live in television, it didn't happen.|
The United States called for an open and "democratic dialogue".
| One man, one vote, one time. |
"The upheaval we are seeing... indicates that dialogue is urgently needed. It needs to be two-way," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
| Sure, Egypt has had a lot of that lately .. and in the past...|
... sometimes described as
The Heroine of Tuzla and at other times as Mrs. Bill, never as
Another Edward Stettinius, Jr. ...
said in comments echoed by Britannia and the European Union
...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing...
Despite the protests , Vice President Mahmud Mekki said a referendum on the charter "will go ahead on time" as planned on December 15.
The opposition would be allowed to put any objections they have to articles of the draft constitution in writing, to be discussed by a parliament yet to be elected.
Prominent opposition leader and former United Nations
| The written objections then will be sent to a forensics sub-committee of the parliament yet to be elected, so that the writers can be identified and arrested...|
...an international organization whose stated aims of facilitating interational security involves making sure that nobody with live ammo is offended unless it's a civilized country...
nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei
Egyptian law scholar and Iranian catspaw. He was head of the IAEA from December 1997 to November 2009. At some point during his tenure he was purchased by the Iranians. ElBaradei and the IAEA were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
for something in 2005. After stepping down from his IAEA position ElBaradei attempted to horn in on the 2011 Egyptian protests which culminated in the collapse of the Mubarak regime. ElBaradei served on the Board of Trustees of the International Crisis Group, a lefty NGO that is bankrolled by the Carnegie Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as George Soros' Open Society Institute. Soros himself serves as a member of the organization's Executive Committee.
said Morsi bore "full responsibility" for the violence.
He said the opposition was ready for dialogue but they would use "any means necessary" to scupper the charter, but stressed that these would be peaceful.
| Who would have thought that El-Baradei would emerge as a champion of democracy. Assuming that that's what he's doing, which I wouldn't assume at all...|
...back at the sandwich shop, Caroline was experimenting with ingredients of increasing volatility...
three of Morsi's advisers resigned over the crisis, MENA reported, naming Amr al-Laythi, Seif Abdel Fattah and Ayman al-Sayyad.
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