Bloodshed as Islamists and secular protestors in Egypt clash over controversial constitution

It’s Islamists versus secular protesters in Cairo as violence breaks out around the presidential palace Wednesday night. Three senior advisers to Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, resigned during the clashes, blaming the president for the bloodshed. Morsi’s prime minister appealed to both sides to halt the clashes and make room for “dialogue.” Periodic gunshots could be heard, while both camps brandished makeshift clubs and some knives. Riot police retreated, useless against the warring masses. Both sides claimed one of its members had been killed in the melee. The breakout of violence casts doubts on the ability of Mr. Morsi’s referendum on December 15 to calm down the factions. A draft constitution approved by his Islamist allies over the objections of the secular opposition and the Coptic Christian Church is up for approval. Morsi’s secular critics accuse him of seeking to establish a new dictatorship.

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