Thousands of supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi have held protests across the country, but called off a planned rally at Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square for fear it could turn violent.
The health ministry said that one person was killed during clashes between anti-coup protesters and local residents in the Sharqia proivince and that seven had been injured during similar violence in the town of Damietta.
Police fired teargas in the city of Alexandria to break up clashes between opponents and supporters of Morsi, security sources said, but there were no casualties and demonstrations in other parts of the country were largely peaceful.
Egypt has been thrown into turmoil by the military’s toppling of Morsi on July 3 following mass protests against his rule, a move that prompted his Muslim Brotherhood movement to organise daily demonstrations in cities across the country.
“Clashes erupted in Alexandria between pro-Morsi protesters and residents who oppose Morsi,” said one of the sources, who asked not to be identified.
“They were annoyed by the protest that included anti-army chants, and it led to security forces firing teargas to disperse the crowds.”
Smaller clashes also broke out in the Nile Delta province of Sharqia and the coastal city of Damietta, where one Morsi supporter was injured.
On August 14, Egyptian security forces broke up the two main pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo and killed hundreds of civilians.
The army-backed government then declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew. Thousands of Brotherhood members, including Morsi himself, have been arrested.
In a separate development, six soldiers were wounded on Friday when a bomb exploded on the roadside as army vehicles passed in Rafah city, northern Sinai, according to witnesses. Around 150 security personnel have died in Sinai’s insurgency since Morsi was toppled, according to an army source.
Egypt has been fighting an insurgency in the largely lawless region, which is near the Palestinian Gaza strip. Sinai-based fighters have intensified their attacks on military and police units since Morsi was overthrown.