Clashes in Cairo’s Tahrir Square between supporters and opponents of Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi have injured more than 100 people, according to a doctor at a nearby hospital.
The clashes began after Muslim Brotherhood supporters tore down a platform being used by a group that was chanting anti-Morsi slogans, reports Al Jazeera.
Morsi’s supporters originally called their rally at Tahrir Square to denounce the acquittals of Hosni Mubarak-era officials this week. The President’s opponents, which consist of a coalition of liberal and secular leaning groups, previously called their own rally to denounce the Islamist control over the body drafting the country’s new constitution, as well as Morsi’s performance in office so far.
Referring to Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie, Morsi’s opponents chanted in the square, “Down with the Supreme Guide’s rule.”
During the fighting, protesters torched two buses that were used by the Muslim Brotherhood to drive supporters into central Cairo, sending plumes of smoke into the air near Tahrir Square.
According to Reuters, Egypt’s Health Ministry reported 110 people who had sustained light to moderate injuries during the skirmish. The two groups threw stones, bottles, and even gas bombs at each other, with some even fighting hand-to-hand.
The clash was a testament that showed how high tensions still run between the rival groups who are trying to shape the new Egypt after decades of autocratic control. A statement issued by the cabinet late on Friday denounced the events, saying that they are hindering the government’s political and economic efforts.
The statement added that Prime Minister Hisham Kandil “calls on all parties present in Tahrir Square and the other squares and places to stay away from any action that would tarnish the image of new Egypt.”