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Egypt protesters encircle presidential palace

Published on Dec 5, 2012 5:57 AM
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Egyptian protesters stand in front of barbed wire in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, December 4, 2012. Egyptian police battled thousands of protesters outside President Mohamed Mursi's palace in Cairo on Tuesday, prompting the Islamist leader to leave the building, two presidential sources said. -- REUTERS

CAIRO (AFP) - Tens of thousands of Egyptian demonstrators on Tuesday encircled the presidential palace after riot police failed to keep them at bay with tear gas, in a growing crisis over President Mohamed Morsi's decree widening his powers.

The protesters cut through barbed wire a few hundred metres from the palace, prompting police to fire the tear gas before retreating and allowing demonstrators to reach the palace walls, AFP correspondents said.

Dr Mursi himself was not in the palace, a presidential aide told AFP. A security official said "the president of the republic left the Itihadiya palace on schedule after official meetings".

A video posted online by the Egyptian news network Rassd showed a convoy leaving the palace through a riot police cordon as protesters chanted "coward" and "leave." The demonstrators, many from liberal and leftist movements, banged on lamp posts as others chanted "leave" in a thunderous show of force.

 
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