One killed as Morsi supporters and opponents clash in Cairo

Opposing sides threw stones and bottles at each other, as police fired tear gas, as Mishal Husain reports

One person has been killed in clashes between supporters and opponents of Egypt's ousted President, Mohammed Morsi, in the capital, Cairo.

Birdshot was reportedly fired by both sides as people taking part in a pro-Morsi march were confronted by residents of a district of Giza.

After about 30 minutes of fighting, the Morsi supporters retreated to their nearby protest camp at Nahda Square.

Some 250 people have died since the military deposed Mr Morsi on 3 July.

The interim government has declared that international efforts to resolve the political crisis have failed, and rejects the demand of Mr Morsi's supporters that he be reinstated.


Six weeks after the army overthrew Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, there is little sign of a solution to the political crisis. Supporters of Mr Morsi, who want him reinstated, are keeping up the pressure. They are standing their ground at their two sit-in camps in Cairo. And they are holding marches in the heart of the capital.

So far the authorities have not moved against the big Muslim Brotherhood protest camps at Cairo's al-Nahda square and around Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque. It is understood that there are divisions in the government about how to tackle the camps. Some hardliners, concerned about losing face to the Muslim Brotherhood, want to move in and disperse the protesters, while others want to avoid bloodshed.

In one scenario, it is thought that security forces might surround both camps to restrict access and cut off supplies of food and water. Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyib, the grand imam of al-Azhar - Egypt's top Islamic institution - has invited major figures to join a meeting of national reconciliation. But there is friction between him and the Muslim Brotherhood because the grand imam supported the military intervention to remove Mr Morsi.

In recent days numbers have swelled at two mass sit-ins organised by the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement to which Mr Morsi belongs, at Nahda Square and outside the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque.

The authorities have held back from attempting to clear the protest camps.


On Tuesday, thousands of Morsi supporters marched from Nahda Square towards the interior ministry to protest against the appointment of 10 military officers as provincial governors, replacing those who had been appointed by the deposed president.

They were confronted by residents of an area that is home to many people who oppose Mr Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, who taunted them by calling them "terrorists".

The demonstrators tried to get into a compound that contains several government buildings, but were forced back.

People on both sides threw stones and bottles at each other before security forces fired tear gas to disperse the Morsi supporters.

"There's no going forward with negotiations, the only way is back. Morsi must be reinstated," Karim Ahmed, a student who took part in the march, told the Reuters news agency.

There were fresh clashes later in the evening, during which the person was killed and at least 10 others were wounded. Security officials said birdshot was fired from both sides, as residents smashed the front of a department store owned by Islamists.

Millions took to the streets to demand Mr Morsi's removal, but correspondents say his ousting appears to be deepening the divisions in Egyptian society.

The US said it had been concerned by the reports of fresh violence.

"We're watching the situation on the ground very closely," state department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters in Washington. "We encourage the interim government to allow people to protest - that's a key part of moving forward with the democratic process."

Graphic showing the size of the protest camp in Nahda Square

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