CAIRO: At least 26 people were killed in clashes across Egypt on Friday as tens of thousands of supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi turned out to protest his ouster by a popularly backed military coup.
A coalition of Islamist groups including Morsi´s Muslim Brotherhood vowed further “peaceful” protests in a statement early Saturday, demanding the military restore the country´s first democratically elected leader.
In the restive north of the Sinai peninsula, armed Morsi supporters stormed the provincial headquarters in the town of El-Arish after a gunfight and raised the black banner of Al-Qaeda-inspired Islamist militants, an AFP correspondent said.
At least 12 people were killed in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria as Morsi´s supporters and opponents fought a pitched street battle, the official MENA news agency said.
Police continued to round up top Islamists, announcing the arrest of Khairat al-Shater, widely seen as the most powerful man behind Morsi in the Muslim Brotherhood movement.
A spokesman for UN chief Ban Ki-moon quoted him calling for a peaceful end to the crisis. “There is no place for retribution or for the exclusion of any major party or community”.
In Cairo´s iconic Tahrir Square, at least two people were killed when Morsi supporters traded fire with his opponents, state television reported.
The clashes subsided when the army separated the protesters using armoured vehicles.