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Egyptian Protesters, Police Clash as Morsi Defends Wide New Powers

Opposition protesters clashed with police in several Egyptian cities Friday after new Islamist President Mohammed Morsi awarded himself sweeping new powers.
Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET: Opposition protesters clashed with police in several Egyptian cities Friday after new Islamist President Mohammed Morsi awarded himself sweeping new powers.

Police fired tear gas in an attempt to disperse tens of thousands of protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the center of anti-regime protests that ousted longtime U.S.-backed leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

"The people want to bring down the regime," shouted protesters, echoing a chant used in the anti-Mubarak uprising. "Get out, Morsi," they chanted.

State TV also said Morsi opponents set fire to Muslim Brotherhood offices in the Suez Canal cities of Suez, Port Said and Ismailia.

Clashes also erupted between police and opposition protesters in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, the southern city of Assiut and in Giza, the sister city of the capital. In Alexandria, Morsi opponents hurled stones at Brotherhood supporters outside a mosque and stormed a nearby office of the group.

However, Muslim Brotherhood backers gathered in front of the presidential palace in northern Cairo to support Morsi -- illustrating a widening gulf over Egypt's future.

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