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Clashes in Egypt as Morsi defends new powers


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"God will humiliate those who are attacking our president, Mohammed Morsi," said ultraconservative cleric Mohammed Abdel-Maksoud. "Whoever insults the sultan, God humiliates him," he added.

Outside the capital, the rival groups clashed.

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State TV reported that protesters burned offices of the Brotherhood’s political arm in the Suez Canal cities of Suez, Ismalia and Port Said, east of Cairo.

In the southern city of Assiut, ultraconservative Islamists of the Salafi tend and former Jihadists outnumbered liberal and leftists, such as the April 6 youth groups. The two sides exchanged insults and briefly scuffled with firsts and stones.

With his decrees, Morsi was playing to widespread discontent with the judiciary. Many — even Brotherhood opponents — are troubled by the presence of so many Mubarak era-judges and prosecutors, who they say have failed to strongly enough prosecute the old regime’s top officials and security forces for crimes including the killing of protesters.

In his decrees, Morsi fired the controversial prosecutor general and created "revolutionary" judicial bodies to put Mubarak and some of his top aides on trial a second time for protester killings. Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison for failing to stop police from shooting at protesters, but many were angry he was not found guilty of actually ordering the crackdown during the uprising against his rule.

In his speech Friday. Morsi told supporters that his decisions were meant to stop those "taking shelter under judiciary."

He said the courts had been about to disband the upper house of parliament.

"This is minority but they represent a threat to the revolution goals," he said. "It is my duty if I see this, to go forward along the path of the revolution and prevent any blockage."


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