Military Stops Clashes Between Pro And Anti-Morsi Supporters; Seven Dead

0 is reporting that Egypt;s military has restored order around the Presidential palace following clashes between anti- and pro-Morsi supporters that left seen dead. According to the Reuters report, a Brotherhood’s spokesman said ‘”Thugs’ detained by members of the Islamist group had been handed over to the police or the Republican Guard”:

CAIRO | Thu Dec 6, 2012 12:34pm EST (Reuters) – Egypt’s Republican Guard restored order around the presidential palace on Thursday after fierce clashes killed seven people, but passions ran high in a contest over the country’s future. President Mohamed Mursi had been due to address the nation, but a presidential source said the Islamist leader, criticized by his opponents for his silence in the last few days, might speak on Friday instead. He did not explain the possible delay. Hundreds of Mursi supporters who had camped out near the palace overnight withdrew before a mid-afternoon deadline set by the Republican Guard, an elite unit whose duties include protecting the palace. Scores of opposition protesters remained, but were kept away by a barbed wire barricade guarded by tanks. The military played a big role in removing President Hosni Mubarak during last year’s popular revolt, taking over to manage a transitional period, but had stayed out of the latest crisis. Mursi’s Islamist partisans fought opposition protesters well into the early hours during dueling demonstrations over the president’s November 22 decree to expand his powers to help him push through a mostly Islamist-drafted constitution. Officials said seven people were killed and 350 wounded in the violence, for which each side blamed the other. Six of the dead were Mursi supporters, the Muslim Brotherhood said. Prosecutors investigating the unrest said Brotherhood members had detained 49 wounded protesters and were refusing to release them to the authorities, the state news agency said. The Brotherhood’s spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan denied this, saying all ‘thugs’ detained by members of the Islamist group had been handed over to the police or the Republican Guard. The street clashes reflected a deep political divide in the most populous Arab nation, where contrasting visions of Islamists and their liberal rivals have complicated a struggle to embed democracy after Mubarak’s 30 years of one-man rule.

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