CAIRO (Reuters) - Police used teargas on Friday to disperse demonstrations by supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in Egypt’s second city, Alexandria, and in Suez.
Mursi’s supporters have staged frequent protests in towns and cities across Egypt, many of them following Friday prayers, since the army deposed him on July 3 in response to mass protests against his rule.
In Suez, police fired tear gas to disperse around 4,000 pro-Mursi demonstrators, a local witness said.
And in Alexandria, around 1,000 demonstrators backing Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood blocked the Corniche, the main road along the Mediterranean seafront, and chanted slogans against the army and police, a witness said.
Residents and drivers threw stones at the demonstrators to try to force them to let traffic through, which triggered clashes. Police responded by firing teargas to disperse the crowds. Two people were arrested, the witness said.
Residents and pro-Mursi protesters also clashed in the Wardeyan area of western Alexandria until police fired teargas to disperse the crowds, a witness said.
In the Nile Delta city of Tanta, security forces arrested nine pro-Brotherhood demonstrators who had destroyed local property and clashed with residents, the state news agency said.
The army-backed government and the security forces have since July pursued a sweeping crackdown on the Brotherhood, for decades Egypt’s biggest political movement, killing hundreds of people, arresting most of its top leaders and accusing many of them of fomenting violence or terrorism.
The government has promised a return to democratic rule next year, under a new constitution. In the interim, the political turmoil that has gripped Egypt since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in early 2011 continues to undermine the economy, and the United States is partly withholding deliveries of military and cash aid to express its disapproval of the government’s actions.
In Cairo’s Giza neighborhood, residents also threw stones at a group of Brotherhood demonstrators who were chanting against the army, security sources said. Seven people were injured.
On October 6, around 57 people were killed in clashes between Mursi’s supporters and opponents in one of the bloodiest days since Mursi was deposed.
Reporting by Ahmed Tolba; Editing by Kevin Liffey