Anti-riot police fired tear gas shells to disperse the protesters who had camped out at Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Saturday. The protests were over the assumption of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi’s sweeping powers.
Opposition activists spent the night in the iconic protest hub -- epicentre of the popular uprising that toppled veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak last year -- erecting some 30 tents. But, when more demonstrators attempted to join them in the morning, police responded with volleys of tear gas forcing them to retreat.
Opposition-led protests were held in most of Egypt’s major cities on Friday sparking violent clashes in the canal city of Suez and the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, where offices of the Islamist Freedom and Justice Party, which backed Morsi for the presidency, were torched.
In an address to supporters outside the presidential palace, Morsi insisted that Egypt remained on the path to “freedom and democracy”.