Early morning protesters in Egypt’s Tahrir Square have been hit with a volley of teargas as anger continues to rise against President Mohamed Mursi and his decree granting himself sweeping powers.
This has become one of the biggest demonstrations since Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow.
One demonstrator accused riot police of using heavy-handed tactics to break-up the rally: “Unemployment is increasing and people are tired; the people who they’re calling ‘old regime remnants’ in the square, all these people are civilised, university students, doctors, and they’re all exceptional people. What the government is doing is unacceptable. The police are firing at us without any of us throwing a single stone; I am a witness. I swear to God, right now they fired without any of us throwing a stone,” said Abdel Hamid Ramadan.
The president has defended the decree as a temporary effort to speed up reforms and complete a democratic transformation.
But his pleas, and those from the Muslim Brotherhood party have failed to stop the protests from spreading to other cities including Alexandria, Suez and Minya.