Egypt's Mursi leaves palace as police battle protesters
CAIRO (REUTERS) - Egyptian police battled thousands of protesters outside President Mohamed Mursi's palace in Cairo on Tuesday, prompting the Islamist leader to leave the building, presidency sources said.
Officers fired teargas at up to 10,000 demonstrators angered by Mr Mursi's drive to hold a referendum on a new constitution on Dec 15. Some broke through police lines around his palace and protested next to the perimeter wall.
The crowds had gathered nearby in what organisers had dubbed "last warning" protests against Mr Mursi, who infuriated opponents with a Nov 22 decree that expanded his powers. "The people want the downfall of the regime," the demonstrators chanted.
"The president left the palace," a presidential source, who declined to be named, told Reuters. A security source at the presidency also said the president had departed.