The Straits Times
Published on Feb 02, 2013

Egyptian killed as protest targets Mursi's palace


CAIRO (AFP) - An Egyptian was shot dead as security forces battled petrol-bomb throwing protesters at the presidential palace in Cairo on Friday as President Mohamed Mursi vowed "decisive" police action, a senior medic said.

The 23-year-old died of a gunshot wound, said Ahmed al-Ansari, the deputy head of Egypt's medic authority, as police fired birdshot on the protesters who targeted the palace amid rallies in several cities against the Islamist leader.

Police said they arrested 20 protesters, and were filmed on live television beating and dragging a naked man to an armoured vehicle, outraging Mr Mursi's critics who compared the incident with police practices under deposed leader Hosni Mubarak.

The presidency, facing a flare-up in the political crisis that has dogged Mr Mursi, said security forces would deal with violent protests with "utmost decisiveness" and that it would hold opposition groups found to have incited the clashes "politically accountable."