CAIRO — Clashes erupted across Egypt over President Mohamed Morsi’s decree expanding his authority, a move that sharpened lines between Islamists and those who fear the president is stealing power in order to edge the country closer to Islamic law.
Offices of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice political party were set ablaze in Alexandria and reportedly in other cities. Pro- and anti-Morsi demonstrators clashed in Cairo and in towns across southern Egypt.
The unrest highlighted the anger that arose after Morsi’s decision on Thursday to free himself from judicial oversight. With no new constitution or parliament, the president holds wide executive and legislative powers.
“Morsi is ignorant, he will burn down the country,” protesters chanted in Cairo.
Police fired tear gas at rock-throwing youths near Tahrir Square, where tens of thousands of protesters, led by Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei and other opposition leaders, gathered.
– Jeffrey Fleishman and Reem Abdellatif, Los Angeles Times
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