Tear gas fired as clashes erupt in Alexandria
Riot police fired tear gas to separate clashing protesters in Egypt's second city of Alexandria on Friday, AFP correspondents reported, as tensions rose over a new constitution. Lines of black-clad officers kept apart thousands of Islamists on one side and hundreds of anti-constitution protesters on the other. Dozens of rival protesters pelted each other with rocks in running battles.
The violence broke out on the eve of the final round of a referendum on the draft charter, which is backed by President Mohamed Mursi and his Islamist supporters.
Alexandria, which voted in the first round of the referendum last weekend, has seen several clashes between pro- and anti-Mursi protesters.
On December 14, opposition protesters besieged a mosque in the Mediterranean city, prompting running battles between rock-throwing groups of men, some of whom brandished swords.
Islamists organised Friday's rally to protest last week's siege of the mosque, sparked by a cleric's call for people to vote yes in the constitution.
Posted by: Steve White