At Least 110 Wounded in Cairo Power Clashes as Islamists, Secularists Fight

Supporters, Opponents of Mursi Clash in Tahrir Square

by Jason Ditz, October 12, 2012

After months of relative calm violent clashes broke out today among thousands of demonstrators in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, where supporters of President Mohamed Mursi fought with opponents. At least 110 were reported wounded in the fights.

The thousands showed up in Tahrir Square for two competing rallies, with the Islamists criticizing court rulings releasing members of the Mubarak regime and secularists rallying to condemn Mursi’s stranglehold on political power.

President Mursi is currently the only elected official in Egypt, having defeated former Mubarak aide Ahmed Shafiq in a close vote. There was an elected parliament, which was itself dominated by Mursi’s Freedom and Justice Party, but the military junta which has largely ruled the country since Mubarak’s ouster disbanded it.

Though Mursi has been praised for making some progress on moving power out of the hands of the junta, the secularists are angered by his close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. The so-called “liberal” parties, many of them Western backed, have been largely rudderless in the election process in Egypt, failing to make any gains in elections but managing to put together big enough rallies after those votes to spark fighting.

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