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In PHOTOS: 'Biggest protest in Egypt history' turns violent

Last updated on: July 01, 2013 16:07 IST

'Largest protest in Egypt history' turns violent

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Seven people were killed and hundreds injured in violent clashes across Egypt where millions took to the streets on the second day giving an ultimatum to Islamist President Mohamed Mursi to quit by Tuesday, as the Arab country witnessed the largest rally in its history.

In the capital Cairo thousands of people massed at the iconic Tahrir Square -- the epicentre of pro-democracy protests in 2011 -- under the banner of Tamarod (Rebellion) movement, which is driving the campaign with a petition of signatures seeking 61-year-old Morsi's ouster and a snap election.

"We give Mohamed Mursi until 5:00 pm (1500 GMT) on Tuesday July 2 to leave power, allowing state institutions to prepare for early presidential elections," Tamarod said in a statement on its website.

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Image: Protesters opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shout slogans against him and brotherhood members during a protest in front of El-Thadiya presidential palace in Cairo
Photographs: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

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The statement warned that Morsi would face a campaign of civil disobedience if he did not leave power by Tuesday.

Opposition activists claim more than 22 million people in the nation of 84 million have signed the petition and have urged the signatories to come out in Tahrir Square. Meanwhile, reports said seven people have been killed and hundreds injured in sporadic outbreaks of violence, raising fears of an escalation in violence in the country.

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Image: A protester opposing Mursi holdis a shield as he picks up a stone during a protest at the national headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo's Moqattam district
Photographs: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

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'Largest protest in Egypt history' turns violent

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Five people were shot in Nile Valley towns south of Cairo and two were killed in violence outside the Muslim Brotherhood's headquarters in the capital late on Sunday on the first anniversary of Morsi's election as the president.

Thousands of ordinary Egyptians -- angered by Mursi's policies -- also took part in the rallies, described as the biggest protest in the history of Egypt. Some international media outlets have said this could have been the largest demonstration seen in the world's history. Thousands spent the night at Tahrir Square, focus of the Arab Spring protests, which brought down Hosni Mubarak regime.

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Image: Protesters opposing Mursi wave Egyptian flag and shout slogans against him and members of the Muslim Brotherhood after attacking the national headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood with Molotov cocktails in Cairo
Photographs: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

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'Largest protest in Egypt history' turns violent

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Mursi's opponents say he has failed to tackle economic and security problems. Critics also say he has put the Islamist agenda of his Muslim Brotherhood party ahead of the country's wider interests.

In Cairo, anti-Mursi supporters waving red cards chanted: "Irhal! Irhal!" ("Leave! Leave!"). Similar rallies were held in Alexandria, Kafr al-Sheikh, Sidi Salem, Damietta, Gharbiya, Suez, Sharqiya -- the birthplace of the president, and other cities. The opposition National Salvation Front said protesters will remain in the streets until the fall of the regime.


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Image: Protesters opposing Mursi stand on top of an electric tram column and wave Egyptian flags during a protest in front of El-Thadiya presidential palace in Cairo
Photographs: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

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'Largest protest in Egypt history' turns violent

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Muslim Brotherhood's political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, also vowed the pro-Mursi coalition will remain in sit-ins to defend until opposition end their rallies.

Egyptian presidency urged all political forces to commit to peaceful protest, insisting 'dialogue' is only way out of impasse. "Dialogue is the only way to reach consensus," said a presidential spokesman on Sunday.


Image: Protesters opposing Mursi stand on top of an electric tram column and wave Egyptian flags during a protest in front of El-Thadiya presidential palace in Cairo
Photographs: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

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