Clashes between Morsi backers, opponents across Egypt

CAIRO (AFP) - Clashes erupted across Egypt on Friday between supporters and opponents of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, the official MENA news agency reported, after deadly confrontations between the toppled Islamist's backers and security forces.

In Cairo, at least three people were killed when troops opened fire on a pro-Morsi rally, an AFP reporter at the scene said. The health ministry later confirmed three people died at the same location.

The ministry also said one person had been killed near the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo's Nasr City where tens of thousands of Morsi supporters had gathered to denounce his ouster by the military.

In North Sinai, two policemen were killed in Al-Arish when unidentified gunmen opened fire on a government building they were guarding, security officials said.

Earlier in the same town, Morsi supporters attacked a government building, MENA said, adding that security forces had fired shots in the air to disperse the crowd.

Before dawn, an Egyptian soldier was killed early and two wounded in coordinated rocket and machinegun attacks by Islamist militants on army checkpoints and a police base in the restive Sinai, medics said.

In the canal city of Ismailiya, army troops fired shots in the air to disperse pro-Morsi protesters who tried to storm a government building.

Anti-riot police also deployed in the coastal city of Alexandria, firing tear gas to control clashes between supporters and opponents of Mr Morsi in the neighbourhood of Sidi Gaber.

The northern province of Beheira also saw confrontations between pro- and anti-Morsi protesters that left six people injured.

In the canal city of Suez, Islamists hurled stones at security forces before being dispersed.

Islamist protesters had called for rallies under the slogan "Friday of rejection" vowing to defend Mr Morsi's legitimacy, denouncing the overthrow of Egypt's first freely elected president as a coup d'etat.

The anti-Morsi camp on Friday launched an urgent call for rival demonstrations to support the "June 30 revolution" which saw millions take to the streets to demand Mr Morsi's resignation.