Protesters torched Muslim Brotherhood offices on Friday, state media said, as supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi staged rival rallies across Egypt a day after he assumed sweeping powers.
The offices of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, were set ablaze in the canal cities of Ismailiya and Port Said, state television said.
An FJP official told AFP the party’s office was also stormed in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, where clashes broke out between rival demonstrators.
In Cairo, an array of liberal and secular groups, including activists at the forefront of the protest movement that forced veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak from power early last year, planned to march on Tahrir Square, Cairo’s iconic protest hub, to demonstrate against the “new pharaoh”.
Morsi’s backers led by the powerful Muslim Brotherhood gathered outside the presidential palace in north Cairo in a show of support for his decision to temporarily place his decisions above judicial oversight.
“The people support the president’s decisions,” the crowd chanted.
According to reports, about 850 protesters were killed in last year’s uprising against Mubarak loyalists and security forces before Egypt’s former leader Hosni Mubarak was overthrown.