Three people have been killed and over 300 injured in clashes between supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and opposition protesters in the capital Cairo, Egypt’s health authorities said on Thursday.
Morsi’s supporters and protesters clashed on Wednesday for the second consecutive day outside the presidential palace in Cairo, national television reported.
The clashes began when Morsi supporters descended on the area around the palace where some 300 opposition activists earlier set up a tent camp. The protesters were forced to retreat from the square outside the palace to side streets.
Morsi is expected to address the nation shortly, his chief of staff announced on Thursday.
Opposition groups are rallying against Morsi’s recent constitutional declaration, vesting the president with extrajudicial powers. They are also protesting his decision to hold a nationwide referendum on the country’s new constitution on December 15, which they describe as too hasty.
Egyptian Vice President Mahmoud Mekky said on Wednesday the referendum would be held on the appointed date despite protests, adding that anyone who had questions or suggestions about certain articles in the proposed constitution was welcome to discuss them with the president’s staff.
On Tuesday, about 20 protesters and eight police officers were injured when police briefly clashed with opposition protesters who tried to break through barbed wire cordons around the presidential palace.
Police used tear gas to disperse the crowds while President Morsi was forced to leave the palace over security concerns.