(Reuters, via Aswat Masriya) - At least one protester was shot dead and dozens wounded on Friday when riot police clashed with demonstrators demanding the overthrow of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi.
Youths threw petrol bombs and shot fireworks at the outer wall of Mursi's Cairo presidential compound as night fell. Police responded by firing water cannon and teargas leading to skirmishes in the surrounding streets.
Two witnesses said they had seen a protester shot dead in Cairo with live ammunition in front of them.
"It's verified. I am at the morgue. He was shot with two bullets, and that's the report of the hospital. The shots were in the neck and the right side of the chest," said one of the witnesses, lawyer Ragia Omran. Medical and security sources confirmed Mohamed Hussein Qurany, 23, was killed with live bullets.
The head of Egypt's ambulance service said at least 54 people had been wounded across the country, mostly in Cairo.
The renewed violence brought an end to a few days of calm after the deadliest week of Mursi's seven months in power. (...)
The rise of an elected Islamist after nearly 60 years of rule by secular military men in the most populous Arab state is the most important change achieved by two years of Arab revolts.
But seven months since his narrow election victory over an ex-Air Force commander, Mursi has failed to unite Egyptians and protests have made the country seem all but ungovernable. The turmoil has worsened an economic crisis, forcing Cairo to drain its currency reserves to prop up its pound.
Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie, on his Facebook page, blamed the unrest on "regional and international forces which aim for instability and to stir up problems and ignite strife to damage Egypt ... to thwart the democratic transition".
Brotherhood followers have clashed with demonstrators in the past, especially at the presidential palace which they regard as a symbol of his legitimacy. But the group has kept its men off the streets during the latest violence.
It is far from clear that opposition politicians could call off the street demonstrations, even if they wanted to.
"You have groups who clearly just want a confrontation with the state - straightforward anarchy; you've got people who supported the original ideals of the revolution and feel those ideals have been betrayed," said a diplomat. "And then you have elements of the old regime who have it in their interests to foster insecurity and instability. It is an unhealthy alliance."
Many Egyptians are fed up.
"We are exhausted. This protests thing is a political game whose price the people are paying. I hate them all - liberals and Brotherhood," said Abdel Halim Adel, 60, near the presidential palace. (Additional reporting by Tom Perry, Shaimaa Fayed and Alexander Dziadosz in Cairo, Abdul Rahman Youssef in Alexandria and Yusri Mohamed in Ismailia; Writing by Peter Graff; Editing by Alison Williams)