Hundreds of thousands of protestors gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Tuesday evening, according to reports from the scene.
Earlier in the day, minor clashes between police and protestors erupted in front of the US embassy. Reports online suggested that ‘Ahram’ photo journalist, Ahmed Goma, was beaten by government forces while covering the incident.
The violence escalated on Tuesday evening with further reports of tear gas and clashes outside the square. Protestors chanted for the downfall of the regime, leading online commentators to draw parallels with the January 25 revolution.
Tuesday’s demonstration follows days of protests across Egypt in response to a controversial decree issued by President Mohammed Morsi on Thursday, granting himself extensive new powers.
Opposition politician, Mohamed ElBaradei, arrived at Tahrir Square at 8pm local time to show his support, greeted by cheers from the crowd.
The Muslim Brotherhood was keen to play down the significance of the demonstration, tweeting that pro-Morsi protestors will far exceed these numbers in the days to come. However they later reported that protestors in Mansoura, north of the capital, attacked their HQ with no police interference.
A counter-demonstration in Cairo, organized by Egypt’s Brotherhood, was postponed to “avoid public tension.” But protests in all other cities went ahead as planned.
In the city of Mahalla, north west of Cairo, at least 50 people were injured, according to Al Jazeera, in ongoing violence between pro and anti Morsi protesters. After five days of clashes, the death toll reportedly stands at four.