Egypt is gearing up for a day of high tension with both supporters and opponents of President Mursi planning rival rallies in the run-up to Saturday’s referendum on a new constitution.
Overnight, nine people were reported hurt when gunmen opened fire on anti-Mursi protesters.
The army, charged with keeping order and whose tanks are protecting the presidential palace, has been given powers to arrest civilians.
The president’s decision to annul a decree boosting his powers seems not to have dimmed the hostility towards him.
“This protest will not end until Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood group leave Egypt,” said one Mursi opponent. “Before we were against changing the constitution, but now it’s about toppling the regime.”
Cairo’s Tahrir Square saw confrontations overnight. Petrol bombs were thrown and shots fired at opposition protesters. Some of the attackers wore masks.
Mursi’s opponents are planning to march on the presidential palace. Islamists have urged their followers to turn out “in millions” to support him.