More than 5,000 members of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist parties staged a demonstration in Mansoura under the name “No to violence, Yes to Legitimacy” in support of Morsi. In street clashes that ensued, three shops were destroyed and four cars damaged as the Islamists met their opponents – the Tamarod campaign, the Popular Current, and the Constitution Party, local media said. Molotov cocktails and tasers were reportedly used in the violence; witnesses also heard gunfire. Initially, Reuters reported 2 people were killed in the city. Abdel-Hamid Rashed, a member of the Popular Current, one of the opposition groups, told The Daily News Egypt that the violence was started by Islamists who carrying shotguns and sticks, prompting local residents to retaliate. The local Freedom and Justice Party department claimed their pro-Morsi rally was attacked by “thugs” who fired birdshot at them and brandished other weapons. “Dozens have been taken to the Mansoura International Hospital with serious, minor and birdshot injuries,” their statement read. Picture: Clashes in #Mansoura today between protestors/citizens/ppl and #ikhwan. pic.twitter.com/IgcEll3pPx — Yąsmine Khalifa (@jazkhalifa) June 26, 2013 Attacks in #Mansoura now by armed thugs on a Pro-Morsi rally. #Egypt pic.twitter.com/Zcv7OKg9LL — Gehad El-Haddad (@gelhaddad) June 26, 2013 Clashes were also reported in nearby Tanta, where according to Twitter reports dozens were hurt. The violence comes just hours before Morsi is due to address the nation in Cairo. Amid calls for his resignation, the president is expected to urge for unity and calm. In his speech, he is also expected to blame the deadlock that has aggravated the country’s economic crisis on resistance from those loyal to his predecessor Hosni Murbarak, who was overthrown in a popular uprising in 2011. Morsi will address the nation at 9.30pm his official #twitter says, at least 1 dead in Mansoura clashes. #Tahrir closed by protesters — Bel Trew – بل ترو (@Beltrew) June 26, 2013 Several major opposition rallies are expected over the weekend, and some fear they could also turn violent. The army has warned that it may take charge again if the situation spins out of control. Defenses around important public buildings have been beefed up and police and the military are preparing to contain any trouble that may occur. Meanwhile, many of Egypt’s citizens have begun stockpiling food, and long queues are forming outside petrol stations. Most Egyptians are angry at decreased living standards and fear a return to the chaos of two years ago.
Read article here: