At least 11 people have been killed in the Egyptian capital Cairo, after violent clashes broke out between Islamist protesters and individuals described as armed “thugs”.
The demonstrators want an end to military rule and are angry that an ultraorthodox Salafi sheikh was barred from running in this month’s presidential elections.
Officials said more than 100 people were wounded in the fighting with sticks, stones and bullets.
“We received the dead. The fighting raged after midnight. Suddenly we were faced with fatal injuries. Victims had been shot in the head. Personally, I have seen four people who were fatally wounded,” said doctor Tarek Said.
In the wake of the violence, two presidential candidates have announced they are suspending campaign events.
It all casts a dark shadow over the upcoming elections, with accusations the ruling military council is trying to dictate the result in advance.