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Egypt deploys tanks outside presidential palace

Published on Dec 6, 2012 2:51 PM
Egyptians stand near an armoured personnel carrier (APC) deployed near the presidential palace in Cairo after five demonstrators died overnight in clashes between supporters and opponents of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi on Dec 6, 2012. Morsi was expected to issue a statement to address the worst violence since his June election, which has pitted Islamists against an opposition that has escalated protests since he assumed extensive powers on Nov 22. -- PHOTO: AFP

CAIRO (AFP) - Egypt's army deployed tanks outside the presidential palace on Thursday after a night of deadly clashes between opponents and supporters of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

At least three tanks and three armoured personnel carriers were stationed outside the front gate of the palace in northern Cairo as hundreds of Morsi backers chanted slogans in support of the president.

Five protesters were killed in the clashes between Islamists and secular-leaning opposition members who said they would escalate protests until Morsi cancels a referendum on a disputed new constitution set for December 15.

Tensions between Islamists and the opposition had been simmering since Morsi adopted exceptional powers on November 22 that allowed him to rush through the constitution, opposed by liberals and Christians, and call the snap referendum.

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