PICTURES

Egypt army fire tear gas at Mursi supporters: Agency

A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi holds a Koran, Islam's holy book, as he shouts slogans with fellow protesters marching towards Cairo University to demand his reinstatement in Cairo on July 19, 2013. -
A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi holds a Koran, Islam's holy book, as he shouts slogans with fellow protesters marching towards Cairo University to demand his reinstatement in Cairo on July 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP
Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi push back a protester who tried to reach a cordon of Egyptian army soldiers, during a demonstration near the Republican Guard headquarters, in Cairo, Egypt, on Friday, July 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi push back a protester who tried to reach a cordon of Egyptian army soldiers, during a demonstration near the Republican Guard headquarters, in Cairo, Egypt, on Friday, July 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Egyptian army special forces soldiers stand guard near the Republican Guard headquarters, in Cairo, Egypt, on Friday, July 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Egyptian army special forces soldiers stand guard near the Republican Guard headquarters, in Cairo, Egypt, on Friday, July 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
A member of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi holds up a poster of Mursi behind barbed wires outside the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo on July 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A member of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi holds up a poster of Mursi behind barbed wires outside the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo on July 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A soldier takes his position in front of members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi at Republican Guard headquarters in Nasr City, a suburb of Cairo on July 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A soldier takes his position in front of members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi at Republican Guard headquarters in Nasr City, a suburb of Cairo on July 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shout behind barbed wire fence outside the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo on July 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shout behind barbed wire fence outside the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo on July 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi stands near barbed wire in front of soldiers at the Republican Guard headquarters in Nasr City, a suburb of Cairo on July 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi stands near barbed wire in front of soldiers at the Republican Guard headquarters in Nasr City, a suburb of Cairo on July 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A soldier takes pictures, as he stands guard with his comrades, in front of members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi at Republican Guard headquarters in Nasr City, a suburb of Cairo on July 19, 2013
A soldier takes pictures, as he stands guard with his comrades, in front of members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi at Republican Guard headquarters in Nasr City, a suburb of Cairo on July 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A member of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi reads the Koran, near graffiti criticising the Tamarud youth movement, in front soldiers at the Republican Guard headquarters in Nasr City, a suburb of Cairo
A member of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi reads the Koran, near graffiti criticising the Tamarud youth movement, in front soldiers at the Republican Guard headquarters in Nasr City, a suburb of Cairo on July 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
An Egyptian woman chants patriotic slogans on July 19, 2013 as she takes part in a demonstration with others to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the six day war against Israel in Cairo's landmark Tahrir square. -- PHOTO: AFP
An Egyptian woman chants patriotic slogans on July 19, 2013 as she takes part in a demonstration with others to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the six day war against Israel in Cairo's landmark Tahrir square. -- PHOTO: AFP
An man wearing a mask of ousted president Mohamed Morsi shows his handcuffed hands outside the presidential palace in Cairo on July 19, 2013, while opponents of ousted president Mohamed Morsi gather to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the six day wa
An man wearing a mask of ousted president Mohamed Morsi shows his handcuffed hands outside the presidential palace in Cairo on July 19, 2013, while opponents of ousted president Mohamed Morsi gather to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the six day war against Israel. -- PHOTO: AFP
Egyptian soldiers stand in front of armoured vehicles outside the presidential palace in Cairo on July 19, 2013, while opponents of ousted president Mohamed Morsi gather to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the six day war against Israel. -- PHOTO: A
Egyptian soldiers stand in front of armoured vehicles outside the presidential palace in Cairo on July 19, 2013, while opponents of ousted president Mohamed Morsi gather to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the six day war against Israel. -- PHOTO: AFP

CAIRO (REUTERS, AFP) - Egyptian soldiers fired tear gas on Friday at protesters backing ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi who were marching near the presidential palace compound in Cairo, state news agency MENA reported.

Thousands of supporters of Mr Mursi, ousted by the army on July 3 after mass demonstrations, took to the streets of several Egyptian cities on Friday to demand that the powerful military reinstate the state's first freely elected president.

The defiant crowd chanted "Down with the coup!" and "Egypt Islamic!" in Cairo on Friday more than two weeks after the army toppled the country's first freely elected president.

Soldiers blocked one procession of around 10,000 protesters who waved flags, carried pictures of the deposed Islamist leader and vowed to press a protest campaign until he is reinstated.

"We will continue to besiege all strategic places... We will stop life until we have restored our rights," said Khairy Mussa, a teacher of English.

Fighter jets and military helicopters flew low over the capital a day after the military warned that it would decisively confront any protesters who turned violent.

Members of the crowd formed a human chain to separate the Islamists from the long line of soldiers across the road.

Supporters of Mr Mursi, who has been held in custody since his ouster on July 3, view the army's decision to overthrow the man they voted into power last year as an affront to democracy.

Demonstrators angrily denounced Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the army chief behind the coup. Men, women and children carried placards reading "Leave, Sisi, Mursi is the president," with some chanting "Sisi traitor!" and branding the general a "killer".

The Islamists have failed to muster the vast numbers of people who rallied in the days preceding Mursi's overthrow calling for him to go.

But tens of thousands did march on Friday, with some of the numerous processions in Cairo heading towards military institutions, despite the heavy deployment of troops around them.

"We are protesting at the places where the army can hear our voice," said Osama Okasha, 54, at one rally near the ministry of defence.