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Egypt deploys military in Cairo to quell anti-Morsi protests

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood stand near tanks that were just deployed outside the Egyptian presidential palace in Cairo December 6, 2012. (Reuters/Asmaa Waguih)

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood stand near tanks that were just deployed outside the Egyptian presidential palace in Cairo December 6, 2012. (Reuters/Asmaa Waguih)

The Egyptian military has deployed three tanks and two armored troop carriers outside the presidential palace in Cairo amid escalating clashes and protests.

The Egyptian military has deployed three tanks and two armored troop carriers outside the presidential palace in Cairo amid escalating clashes and protests.

Six people have been killed so far – including journalist Al Hosseini Abou Dief, who died from a shotgun wound – and around 350 were injured during the ongoing clashes between protesters and government forces.

The Egypt Independent newspaper claimed that two of the dead were a woman and teenager. Egypt’s Interior Ministry also reported that 32 people were arrested.

Supporters of Egypt′s Islamist President Mohamed Morsi (portrait) walk past Egyptian army tanks deployed near the presidential palace in Cairo after five demonstrators died overnight in clashes between supporters and opponents of Morsi on December 6, 2012. (AFP Photo/Mahmoud Khaled)
Supporters of Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Morsi (portrait) walk past Egyptian army tanks deployed near the presidential palace in Cairo after five demonstrators died overnight in clashes between supporters and opponents of Morsi on December 6, 2012. (AFP Photo/Mahmoud Khaled)

Three top officials have already resigned over the violence, including the chief of the constitutional committee, Zaghloul El-Balshi, who announced his resignation on Egyptian television on Wednesday night.

“I will not participate in a referendum that spilled Egyptian blood, I call on Morsi to cancel the constitutional declaration immediately,” Ahram Online quoted El-Balshi as saying.

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi build barricades as they clash with anti-Morsi demonstrators on the road leading to the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012.(AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi build barricades as they clash with anti-Morsi demonstrators on the road leading to the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012.(AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)

The volatile situation has also led to the resignation of three more of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s advisors: Seif Abdel Fattah, Ayman Sayyad and Amr Leithy.

President Morsi planned to appear in public on Wednesday, but cancelled his speech due to the protests. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Hisham Qandil issued a brief statement calling for calm and a “national dialogue.”

Morsi fled the presidential palace on Tuesday after roughly 200 protesters broke through barbed wire barriers and besieged the building. Police forces reportedly retreated, allowing demonstrators to move closer to the palace.

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi move barricades as they clash with anti-Morsi demonstrators on the road leading to the Egyptian presidential palace in Cairo on December 5, 2012.(AFP Photo/Mahmoud Khaled)
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi move barricades as they clash with anti-Morsi demonstrators on the road leading to the Egyptian presidential palace in Cairo on December 5, 2012.(AFP Photo/Mahmoud Khaled)

At least 18 people were injured in clashes with police as the amount of demonstrators swelled to roughly 10,000 people.

RT’s Tom Barton described the scene around the presidential palace as “pandemonium.”

Earlier, journalist Wael Eskandar told RT he was worried that the government would not be able to deal with the ongoing clashes. The anti-Morsi protesters were being chased away by Muslim Brotherhood supporters who were using rocks, Molotov cocktails and even “shotguns,” Eskander said.

The violence broke out shortly after President Morsi returned to the presidential palace.

Despite recent developments, Morsi and his office have insisted that the planned constitutional referendum will proceed on December 15. Egyptian Vice President Mahmoud Mekky also said that “the door is open” to amend the disputed articles of the Constitution ahead of the referendum.

The demonstrators have dubbed their siege as “the last warning,” demanding the decrees be cancelled.

An injured Egyptian opposition protestor (C) runs as he is surrounded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi during clashes with anti-Morsi demonstrators on the road leading to the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012.(AFP Photo / Mahmoud Khaled)
An injured Egyptian opposition protestor (C) runs as he is surrounded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi during clashes with anti-Morsi demonstrators on the road leading to the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012.(AFP Photo / Mahmoud Khaled)

Earlier on Wednesday, the Muslim Brotherhood called for a rally backing President Morsi in front of the presidential palace, while leftists planned a counter-protest.

During clashes on Wednesday, Muslim Brotherhood supporters destroyed a tent camp erected by the opposition.

Meanwhile, anti-Morsi demonstrators have set fire to and attacked a number of Muslim Brotherhood offices throughout the country, according to local media. Offices in Ismailia and Damietta, north of Cairo, were attacked. Molotov cocktails were thrown into offices in Zagazig and thousands of opposition activists are marching to the party’s headquarters in Suez.

The protests began after a newly elected President Morsi signed a decree granting his office vastly increased powers, which protesters claim are akin to the authoritarian rule of ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi carry an injured comrade during clashes with anti-Morsi protestors on the road leading to the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012.(AFP Photo/Mahmoud Khaled)
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi carry an injured comrade during clashes with anti-Morsi protestors on the road leading to the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012.(AFP Photo/Mahmoud Khaled)
Protesters throw a flare at the Egyptian riot police during clashes between Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and anti-Morsi demonstrators on the road leading to the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012.(AFP Photo / Gianluigi Guercia)
Protesters throw a flare at the Egyptian riot police during clashes between Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and anti-Morsi demonstrators on the road leading to the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012.(AFP Photo / Gianluigi Guercia)
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi clash with anti-Morsi demonstrators on the road leading to the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012.(AFP Photo / Gianluigi Guercia)
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi clash with anti-Morsi demonstrators on the road leading to the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012.(AFP Photo / Gianluigi Guercia)
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi try to extinguish a fire as they clash with anti-Morsi protestors on the road leading to the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012.(AFP Photo / Mahmoud Khaled)
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi try to extinguish a fire as they clash with anti-Morsi protestors on the road leading to the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012.(AFP Photo / Mahmoud Khaled)
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi carry an injured comrade during clashes with anti-Morsi protestors on the road leading to the Egyptian presidential palace in Cairo on December 5, 2012.(AFP Photo / Mahmoud Khaled)
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi carry an injured comrade during clashes with anti-Morsi protestors on the road leading to the Egyptian presidential palace in Cairo on December 5, 2012.(AFP Photo / Mahmoud Khaled)
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi clash with anti-Morsi demonstrators on the road leading to the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012.(AFP Photo / Gianluigi Guercia)
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi clash with anti-Morsi demonstrators on the road leading to the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012.(AFP Photo / Gianluigi Guercia)
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi build barricades as they clash with anti-Morsi demonstrators on the road leading to the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012.(AFP Photo / Mahmoud Khaled)
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi build barricades as they clash with anti-Morsi demonstrators on the road leading to the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012.(AFP Photo / Mahmoud Khaled)
Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi arrive outside the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt. (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)
Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi arrive outside the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt. (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)
Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi clash with anti-Morsi protesters outside the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt. (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)
Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi clash with anti-Morsi protesters outside the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt. (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi destroy tents from anti-Morsi protesters outside the presidential palace on December 5, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt. (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi destroy tents from anti-Morsi protesters outside the presidential palace on December 5, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt. (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)
Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi clash with anti-Morsi protesters outside the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt. (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)
Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi clash with anti-Morsi protesters outside the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt. (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)

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