- Pope Francis wins another ‘Person of the Year’ — from gay rights magazine
- Rep. Steve Stockman: Give my campaign $10, and you’ll get an Obama barf bag
- Putin: Russia to buy $15 billion in Ukraine bonds
- Expert: Obamacare ‘death spiral’ fears exaggerated
- Alabama firefighters dig for survivors of apartment blast
- Big Sur wildfire destroys home of firefighting chief
- ‘ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas’ set for mock trial to argue authorship
- Angela Merkel’s third term as Germany’s chancellor to be marked by move to left
- Mega Millions entices with record-setting jackpot: Half a billion so far
- Dennis Rodman heads to North Korea — despite execution, political purge
Egypt descends into turmoil over disputed constitution
CAIRO (AP) — Supporters and opponents of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi fought with rocks, firebombs and sticks outside the presidential palace in Cairo on Wednesday in large-scale clashes that marked the worst violence of a deepening crisis over the disputed constitution.
Egypt’s Health Ministry said 126 people were wounded in the clashes, which still were raging hours after nightfall.
Three of Mr. Morsi’s aides resigned in protest of his handling of the crisis. With two aides who had quit earlier, now five of his panel of 17 advisers have left their jobs since the problems began.
Mohamed ElBaradei, a leading opposition advocate of reform and democracy, said Mr. Morsi’s rule was “no different” from that of former President Hosni Mubarak, whose authoritarian regime was toppled in an uprising nearly two years ago.
“In fact, it is perhaps even worse,” Mr. ElBaradei, a Nobel laureate, told a news conference after he accused the president’s supporters of a “vicious and deliberate” attack on peaceful demonstrators.
The opposition is demanding that Mr. Morsi rescind decrees giving him nearly unrestricted powers and shelve a disputed draft constitution that the president’s Islamist allies passed hurriedly last week.
The dueling demonstrations and violence are part of a political crisis that has left the country divided into two camps: Islamists versus an opposition made up of youth groups, liberal parties and large sectors of the public. Both sides have dug in their heels, signaling a protracted standoff.
The latest clashes began when thousands of Islamist supporters of Mr. Morsi descended on the area around the palace where some 300 of his opponents were staging a sit-in. The Islamists, members of Mr. Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group, chased the protesters away from their base outside the palace’s main gate and tore down their tents.
The protesters scattered to side streets, where they chanted anti-Morsi slogans. After a lull in fighting, hundreds of young Morsi opponents arrived at the scene and immediately began throwing firebombs at the president’s backers, who responded with rocks.
“I voted for Morsi to get rid of Hosni Mubarak. I now regret it,” Nadia el-Shafie yelled at the Brotherhood supporters from a side street. “God is greater than you. Don’t think this power or authority will add anything to you. God made this revolution, not you,” said the tearful Ms. el-Shafie as she was led away from the crowd of Islamists.
By nightfall, about 10,000 Islamists were outside the palace. They set up metal barricades to keep traffic off a stretch of road that runs parallel to the palace in Cairo’s upscale Heliopolis district. Some of them appeared to plan to stage their own sit-in.
“May God protect Egypt and its president,” read a banner hoisted on a truck that came with the Islamists. Atop, a man using a loudspeaker recited verses from the Quran.
“We came to support the president. We feel there is a legitimacy that someone is trying to rob,” said engineer Rabi Mohammed, a Brotherhood supporter. “People are rejecting democratic principles using thuggery.”
At least 100,000 opposition supporters rallied outside the palace on Tuesday, and smaller protests were staged by the opposition elsewhere in Cairo and across much of Egypt. It was the latest of a series of mass protests against the president
Buoyed by the massive turnout on Tuesday, the mostly secular opposition held a series of meetings late Tuesday and Wednesday to decide on next steps in the standoff, which began Nov. 22 with Mr. Morsi’s decrees that placed him above oversight of any kind.
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
- PRUDEN: The scam that will not die
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- Top Democrats reject court ruling over NSA spying on Americans
- Zadzooks: The Joker sixth scale figure review (Sideshow Collectibles)
- Embassy Row: India strikes back over diplomat's arrest
- Domino's launches its first vegan pizza
- Army to cut up to 4,000 captains and majors
- Minister: Iceland refused to help FBI on WikiLeaks
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Wall Street news for retail investors who want to know what's going on.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow