* Police, protesters clash in central Cairo
* Violence a blow to hopes that Egyptian crisis subsiding
* Brotherhood supporters throw stones, petrol bombs
* U.S. envoy says Washington not meddling
By Ulf Laessing and Mike Collett-White
CAIRO, July 16 Egyptian police and protesters
clashed in central Cairo early on Tuesday after fights broke out
between supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi
and locals angered when they tried to block major thoroughfares
crossing the River Nile.
The MENA state news agency said at least 22 people were
injured in the violence, which began just after 9 p.m. (1900
GMT) on Monday and lasted into the early hours of Tuesday.
The clashes were smaller and more localised than the earlier
deadly unrest since Mursi was deposed by the military on July 3,
and most of Cairo was unaffected.
Still, after a week of relative calm, scenes of running
street battles close to the Egyptian Museum, one of the
country's main tourist attractions, may raise further concerns
about stability in the Arab world's most populous country.
"I've had enough of this chaos," said Ashraf Mohamed, who
watched the clashes from a distance. "Egypt is just rubbish."
Young men, their mouths covered to protect them from tear
gas, threw stones at police and shouted pro-Mursi and
anti-military slogans, as well as "Allahu Akbar!" (God is
Military helicopters hovered overhead and police vans were
brought in to quell the trouble, but when that didn't work,
dozens of riot police moved in. Medics treated men with deep
gashes to their eyes and faces nearby.
Mohamed's frustration echoed the view of millions of
Egyptians who rallied for Mursi's resignation on June 30. The
military said it deposed him to fulfil the wish of the people.
Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood movement said it was a coup.
"It's the army against the people, these are our soldiers,
we have no weapons," said Alaa el-Din, a 34-year-old computer
engineer, clutching a laptop.
"The army is killing our brothers, you are meant to defend
me and you are attacking me. The army turned against the
Egypt has become increasingly polarised by the crisis, but
one thing the two sides share is a deep mistrust of the United
States and its perceived role in the unrest.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns told reporters
in Cairo that Washington had no desire to meddle in Egypt, which
it supports with $1.5 billion in aid each year, most of which
goes to the military.
"Only Egyptians can determine their future," Burns told
reporters at the U.S. embassy. "I did not come with American
solutions. Nor did I come to lecture anyone. We will not try to
impose our model on Egypt."
Washington, never comfortable with the rise of the Islamist
Brotherhood, has so far refused to say whether it views Mursi's
removal as a coup, which would require it to halt aid.
The Islamist Nour Party and the Tamarud anti-Mursi protest
movement both said they turned down invitations to meet Burns.
But a senior State Department official denied Burns had been
shunned. "I don't think we're losing influence at all," the U.S.
official said, adding that Burns was still in Cairo.
"I don't know what meetings he has, but he has seen a range
of people in Cairo in the interim government, in civil society
... so it's hard to say he has been spurned by both sides. I
don't accept that is the case."
MARCHES IN CAIRO AND BEYOND
Tens of thousands of Brotherhood supporters gathered late on
Monday at the Rabaa Adawiya mosque in northeastern Cairo, where
they have staged a sit-in vigil for the last three weeks vowing
to stay until Mursi is reinstated.
Another large crowd rallied outside Cairo University, and
there were protests in the coastal city of Alexandria and the
Nile city of Assiut. There also were minor clashes in Giza, home
of the pyramids, just outside Cairo.
The army warned demonstrators that it would respond with
"the utmost severity and firmness and force" if they approached
military bases or "vital state institutes."
At least 92 people were killed in the days after Mursi was
toppled, more than half of them shot by troops outside the
Republican Guard compound near the Rabaa mosque on July 8.
Protests since then had been tense but peaceful until Monday
The political turmoil and unrest in major cities has also
fuelled violence in Egypt's lawless North Sinai province
bordering Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip.
Attacks in the area have killed 13 people, mainly police,
since July 3. In the latest, suspected Islamist militants fired
grenades at a bus carrying workers from a factory in the Sinai
city of El Arish on Monday, killing three and wounding 17.
U.S. CALLS FOR RESTRAINT
Mursi is being held incommunicado at an undisclosed
location. He has not been charged with a crime but the
authorities say they are investigating him over complaints of
inciting violence, spying and wrecking the economy. Scores of
Mursi supporters were rounded up after violence last week.
Many of the top Brotherhood figures have been charged with
inciting violence, but have not been arrested and are still at
large. The public prosecutors' office announced new charges
against seven Brotherhood and Islamist leaders on Monday.
Burns had earlier called for restraint on both sides.
"If representatives of some of the largest parties in Egypt
are detained or excluded, how are dialogue and participation
possible?" he asked. He also urged those opposed to Mursi's
ouster to participate in the political process peacefully.
Interim President Adli Mansour and his prime minister Hazem
el-Beblawi head a transitional cabinet full of technocrats that
is paving the way for parliamentary elections in around six
months, in a bid to restore civilian rule.
U.S.-educated economist Ahmed Galal, as finance minister,
has the task of rescuing an economy and state finances wrecked
by two and a half years of turmoil.
That task became easier, at least in the short term, after
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait - rich Gulf
Arab states happy at the downfall of the Brotherhood - promised
a total of $12 billion in cash, loans and fuel.
The new planning minister, Ashraf al-Arabi, said the Arab
money would be enough to sustain Egypt through its transition
period and it did not need to restart talks with the
International Monetary Fund.
Egypt had sought $4.8 billion in IMF aid last year, but
months of talks ran aground with the government unable to agree
on cuts in unaffordable subsidies for food and fuel. Arabi's
comments could worry investors who want the IMF to prod reform.
"I think it's inappropriate to be making such a strong
statement, given how new he is to the position," said Angus
Blair, president of the Signet Institute, an economic think