Egypt: Tahrir Square protest against President Morsi

President accused of ''derailing the revolution''

24 August, 19:13

(ANSAMed) - ROME, AUGUST 24 - Opponents and supporters of Egypt's president on Friday gathered for a protest in Tahrir Square that Al Masri Al Youm independent newspaper billed as ''the first test'' of Mohamed Morsi's democratic attitude.

After traditional Friday prayers, several hundred protesters gathered in the square, which was the hotbed of the revolt that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak, and in adjacent streets.

Active on social media such as Facebook, organizers had called for a ''peaceful'' demonstration against Morsi's attempt ''to monopolize power and derail the revolution.'' The demonstration reportedly mustered only modest numbers, perhaps due to the heat, with local media reporting stones thrown and shots fired between the factions. The numbers are expected to increase towards evening.

Opponents of Morsi in Tahrir square today include members of the Coptic Christian minority and supporters of the military, incensed by Morsi's removal of Egypt's interim ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who leads the armed forces supreme council, as well as liberals worried about what they said is the current government's ''Islamic, illiberal drift.'' A case in point is the arrest and release of a newspaper editor critical of the government, whose trial begins in September. (ANSAMed).

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