Backers, critics of Egypt president clash in Cairo

By Maggie Michael

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Oct. 12 2012 10:41 a.m. MDT

A Brotherhood supporter, in turn, accused the other camp of being "thugs" who chanted against the leader of the Brotherhood and harassed the Islamists during noon prayers in Tahrir. "We have to give Morsi a chance," 19-year-old Moez Naggar, said. "The more protests we have, the less we can expect from him."

Around nightfall, fighting stopped as the Brotherhood supporters left the square in buses.

Meanwhile, Morsi was in Egypt's second largest city, Alexandria, where he pledged on Friday that former regime figures would be brought to justice despite Wednesday's verdicts.

The 24 were acquitted of organizing the so-called "Camel Battle," an incident on Feb. 2, 2011, when a crowd of Mubarak supporters —including assailants on horses and camels — attacked protesters holding a sit-in in Tahrir to demand his ouster. Two days of fighting ensued, leaving nearly a dozen dead.

In Alexandria, Morsi invoked the "martyrs of the revolution," including Khaled Said who died at the hands of Mubarak's police in Alexandria in 2010. Images of Said's severely disfigured face that had circulated widely online helped galvanize calls for last year's uprising that eventually overthrew Mubarak, after nearly 30 years in power.

"All of the segments of Egypt's society were deprived of many rights" under Mubarak, Morsi told a crowd of supporters. "And the biggest right deprived of us was the right to freedom."

Following the acquittals, Morsi on Thursday moved to dismiss the country's Mubarak-appointed prosecutor general in a bid to calm widespread anger. However, the prosecutor, Abdel-Maguid Mahmoud, refused to step down and vowed to remain in his post, citing a law that protects the prosecutor general from being ousted by the president.

Many blame the prosecutor for frequent acquittals of police and Mubarak-era officials over the past year, saying he put together shoddy cases. Egyptians were also disappointed in what they saw as a weak verdict in the trial against Mubarak. He is serving a life sentence for failing to stop the killing of protesters last year, but prosecutors did not prove he ordered killings and he was cleared of corruption charges.

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