Clashes between rival protesters in Cairo have escalated dramatically today, with reports of tear gas, gunfire, and even petrol bombs being exchanged near Egypt's presidential palace. The back and fourth fighting began on Tuesday night with a sit-in within the gates of the presidential palace by about 300 opponents of President Mohammed Morsi, who continue to call on him to rescind a judicial decree that would protect him from the authority of Egypt's courts. On Wednesday, thousands of Morsi supporters charged the group, tearing down their tents and attacking the demonstrators with rocks and sticks. Most of the protesters scattered, but were soon reinforced by allies and continued to skirmish outside the gates of the palace throughout the day.
Not long ago, around 7:00 p.m. local time, reports began spreading that some of the Muslim Brotherhood supporters were firing guns at the crowd, killing two of the protesters. The Muslim Brotherhood claims they are they victims of the armed mobs, but the scene is obviously very chaotic at the moment and the deaths of the protesters are still unconfirmed. There are also reports of numerous injuries as angry supporters on both sides trade accusations online. There also appears to be little or no intervention from the police or the military.
Mohamed ElBaradei, one of Morsi's leading critics, held a press conference around that time, stating that he hold Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood party responsible for the violence. Earlier, he told the Associated Press that "A regime that is not able to protect its people and is siding with his own sect, (and) thugs is a regime that lost its legitimacy and is leading Egypt into violence and bloodshed."
This is the pros approaching in the distance. twitter.com/Sarahcarr/stat…—أبو كار (@Sarahcarr) December 5, 2012
"Pros" in this case means pro-Morsi.
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