Tens of thousands of Egyptian protesters surged around the presidential palace on Friday and the opposition rejected President Mohamed Mursi’s call for dialogue to end a crisis that has polarized the nation and sparked deadly clashes.
The Islamist leader’s deputy said he could delay a December 15 referendum on a constitution that liberals opposed, although the concession only partly meets a list of opposition demands that include scrapping a decree that expanded Mursi’s powers.
“The people want the downfall of the regime” and “Leave, leave,” crowds chanted after bursting through barbed wire barricades and climbing on tanks guarding the palace of Egypt’s first freely elected president.
A studio used by the Al Jazeera TV network in Cairo was set on fire on Wednesday in an attack that an employee said was carried out by a mob that had been chanting slogans against the Qatari-owned station.
The studio overlooks Tahrir Square and is located near the scene of violent clashes between youths and the security forces this week in which dozens of people have been injured. Those confrontations grew out of protests to mark the first anniversary of lethal street battles in the same area.
The first-floor office used by Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr, a station set up after the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, was badly damaged by fire.
[File photo used]
FLASH: Egypt passenger train derails in Cairo suburb and catches fire; many dead - security source. Watch Reuters.com for more.
Protesters chant anti-government slogans during a protest condemning the death of soccer fans at Port Said stadium, near the Interior Ministry in Cairo, February 2, 2012.
Egyptians incensed by the deaths of 74 people in soccer violence staged protests in central Cairo on Thursday as the army-led government came under fire for failing to prevent the deadliest incident since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. [REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih]
VIDEO: At least 73 people are dead, with hundreds injured after fans stormed a soccer field in Port Said while another stadium in Cairo was set on fire.
A demonstrator takes part in a protest demanding the army hand power to civilians, in front of the state television building in Cairo January 30, 2012. [REUTERS/Suhaib Salem]
Wael Ghonim doesn’t like being called an activist. The 31-year-old Google employee says he’s no different than other Egyptians who took part in the 2011 protests spurred by a Facebook page he created that forced then-president Hosni Mubarak to step down.
Thousands of women massed in Tahrir Square here on Tuesday afternoon and marched to a journalists’ syndicate and back in a demonstration that grew by the minute into an extraordinary expression of anger at the treatment of women by the military police as they protested against continued military rule.
(Photo: Asmaa Waguih / Reuters via the New York Times)