Supporters and opponents of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi clashed Friday after separately demonstrating in Tahrir Square in central Cairo, amid standoff between the executive and the judiciary.
Demonstrators on both sides were throwing stones, leaving at least 12 wounded, according to the Ministry of Health, in the first violence of this magnitude since the election of Mr. Morsi in June.
At the call of the Muslim Brotherhoods, hundreds of people protested against the acquittal Wednesday of former regime figures accused of having sent thugs on camels to attack protesters in Tahrir Square during the uprising that led to the fall of Hosni Mubarak regime, in early 2011.
Another demonstration was called by secular activists demanding the formation of a new Constituent Committee.
The clashes began when Muslim Brotherhood supporters destroyed the podium of a group that chanted slogans against Morsi, according to an AFP journalist.
The violence took place in several places around the iconic Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the 2011 revolt.
“Down with the rule of the Supreme Leader,” chanted anti-Morsi protesters, referring to the number 1 of the Brotherhoods, Mohammed Badie.
The Muslim Brotherhoods has denied on Twitter any involvement of their members in the clashes: “We are not involved in the clashes in Tahrir, and none of our members is in place,” wrote the Brotherhoods.
Friday’s violence is the most serious since the election of Mr. Morsi, between supporters and opponents of the president.
Meanwhile, Morsi vowed that former officials of the Mubarak era who were acquitted Wednesday will face retrial.
“We can not ignore those who committed crimes against the nation,” he said at a mosque in Alexandria (north), according to the official MENA news agency. “They have to deal with justice and the judicial system,” he added.