Cairo — The Egyptian army has deployed tanks and armoured troop carriers outside the presidential palace in Cairo after clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohammed Morsi left five dead and hundreds injured.
Wednesday's clashes were the fiercest in the country's two-week-old political crisis with both sides pelting each other with stones and molotov cocktails and intensifying the pressure on Egypt's embattled new government.
The violence, which opposition leaders accused Morsi's Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement of organising, was ominously reminiscent of the tactics used by former President Hosni Mubarak during the revolution.
But, despite the army's presence, there are reports of a fresh outbreak of stone-throwing between the two sides.
Egypt is seeing growing unrest over a controversial draft constitution. The government insists that a referendum will go ahead this month.
Three of Morsi's advisers resigned Wednesday evening over the conflict, which has pitted Egypt's first democratically elected president and his Islamist backers against a broad coalition of liberals, secularists, human rights activists and loyalists to the old regime.