More than 40 people were injured as supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and liberal opposition activists clashed on Friday in Cairo’s Tahrir Square over the rise of radical Islamism and deteriorating living conditions in the country.
Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in downtown Cairo after noon prayers to voice their disappointment with the government policies, which, in their opinion, failed to uphold the gains of the 18-day popular uprising that ousted long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.
Rocks have been thrown at opposing factions and Muslim Brotherhood supporters have taken down the stage prepared for speakers from the opposition.
Scuffles broke out in areas adjacent to the square , but there have been no reports of serious injuries so far.
The protests come as the economic situation facing millions of Egyptians continues to worsen.
A series of interruptions and strikes that have taken place since the revolution resulted in a marked drop in productivity , while political turmoil and the shaky security situation have scared off foreign investors and tourists.
Unemployment in the country has soared to 20 percent , and foreign currency reserves are at a dangerous all-time low.
The Egyptian media is also still rife with reports of kidnappings , assaults, car thefts and burglaries, and there has reportedly been a surge in sexual harassment on the streets of Cairo, according to local NGOs that work with sexually assaulted women.
Morsi has taken personal responsibility for failing to implement in full a plan for Egypt’s recovery that he pledged to execute in the first 100 days of his presidency.