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Uneasy calm after violence in Egypt, crisis lingers

Press Trust of India  |  Cairo 

There was a notable increase in the number of protesters' tents in the vicinity of the presidential palace today.

The protesters said that they would not end their sit-in till the annulment of the constitutional declaration and referendum on new constitution.

Overnight, more than 10,000 Egyptian opposition protesters broke through an army barricade to march on the presidential palace, demanding Mursi to call off the controversial constitutional referendum that sparked the worst violence since he assumed power in June.

Soldiers, however, prevented the protesters from nearing the presidential palace's main gate. The crowd gradually reduced to a hard core of protesters.

Earlier yesterday, supporters of Mursi held their own march in Cairo.

There was no repeat yesterday of the violent clashes that took place on Wednesday between the two sides when seven people died and more than 640 were hurt.

President Mursi was set to issue a that will give judicial and protective powers to the military, according to the state-run Al-Ahram.

Drafted with the participation of army leaders, the will task the armed forces with maintaining security and protecting vital installations in the state, until a new constitution takes effect and legitimate parliamentary elections are held.

President Mursi today also held a meeting with President of the UN General Assembly Vuk Jeremic at the Ittihadiya presidential palace. Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr attended the meeting, state-run MENA agency reported.

The two sides are scheduled to review the ongoing incidents in Egypt, the current situation in the region, the Syrian file, in addition to the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis after elevating Palestine's UN status from "non-member observer entity" to "non-member observer state". MORE

First Published: Sat, December 08 2012. 18:25 IST