UPDATE 2: One killed in clashes in Alexandria, police disperses protests


One person was killed in clashes between supporters of deposed president Mohammed Morsi and local opponents in Alexandria on Friday as Muslim Brotherhood supporters took to the street to stage their weekly protests in defiance of the authorities.

Health officials in the Mediterranean city said that a 50-year-old protester was shot and killed in the district of Al-Awayed during clashes with local opponents.

Elsewhere in Cairo and other cities, police dispersed other protests organised by supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi, arresting a number of protesters.

The Ministry of Interior said in a statement that police had arrested 73 Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Cairo and eight other governorates, confiscating birdshot guns, Molotov cocktails and fireworks from some of them.

Clashes heightened in the eastern Cairo district of Ain Shams, a spot that Muslim Brotherhood supporters have recently started to use as a gathering point for different marches.

They have tried more than once to start sit-ins in the area, but have been stopped by security forces and local opponents.

A Cairo security official told Al-Ahram Arabic news website that pro-Morsi protesters set fire to tyres, threw Molotov cocktails and fired birdshot in the direction of police, who responded with teargas.

There were no immediate figures for the numbers of injured.

Limited clashes also erupted in front of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, where police fired teargas at protesters to disperse them.

In Fayoum, police fired teargas to disperse a demonstration. Police officials said they arrested five protesters, including a school pupil, and confiscated a weapon. Seven people were injured in the clashes, including a conscript.

Police also dispersed protests in Damietta, arresting four people. Police said they had confiscated knives and images of "the four-fingered sign" from protesters, a reference to the image of a yellow hand used by many Morsi supporters.

Muslim Brotherhood supporters also clashed with opponents in the northern city, according to reports. A number of shop windows and one car were slightly damaged in the clashes.

Protesters denounced the presidential candidacy of former military chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, chanting against the police and the army.

The former field marshal, whose popularity has skyrocketed since he led Morsi's ouster, is expected to win the May presidential election.

His candidacy is also expected to heighten tensions between authorities and Islamists, who accuse him of leading the ouster of Morsi.

Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, was ousted by the army last July on the back of million-strong protests against his single year in power.

Supporters of the Islamist leader have staged near daily protests against interim authorities since his ouster last summer, despite a new law passed in November that rendered unauthorised public demonstrations illegal.