Tens of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters have responded to the latest calls to protest across Egypt against the overthrow of President Mursi.
In Cairo a large crowd gathered in the area around the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque which has become the focal point for their demonstrations.
Elsewhere, in the Nile Delta town of Mansura, reports said three protesters including at least two women died and several others were injured in clashes with Mursi opponents.
“President Mursi must be returned to power, he is a legitimate elected president,” said one angry demonstrator in Cairo, who also demanded the return of the Constitution and parliament’s upper house the Shura Council to ensure security.
A rival smaller demonstration saw supporters of Mursi’s removal celebrate in front of the presidential palace.
They too had been called upon to turn out and the atmosphere was duly festive.
Those demonstrators feel liberated by the army’s move in early July to oust a president whose government was deemed too authoritarian and Islamist.
“I think that Egyptian freedom and national unity will prevail in the end, but if any political faction thinks of governing by blood or reaching its goal by blood, that means the absence of democracy and political life in Egypt,” said one of the anti-Mursi demonstrators.
A strong army presence was designed to prevent clashes between rival protesters. Even so, there were reports of minor scuffles.
Euronews correspondent in Cairo Mohammed Shaikhibrahim said:
“The distance between the protesters in Rabaa al-Adawiya square and the demonstrators outside the palace is one street. It does not exceed a few metres, but the political dispute makes the gap between the two sides much bigger.”
The UN’s top human rights official is demanding an explanation for Mursi’s arrest. A spokesman for Navi Pillay said she had asked Cairo how many people were being held and what the legal basis was for their detention.