CAIRO – Scattered violence was reported late Sunday as hundreds of thousands of protesters swelled through the streets of Egyptian cities and towns in mostly peaceful demonstrations against President Mohamed Morsi.
The state news agency said about 500 young men hurling stones and Molotov cocktails attacked the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo. One protester was killed in clashes in Upper Egypt and more than 220 were injured throughout the country, according to security officials.
As fireworks and lasers lit the night sky, protesters yelled “Leave, leave,” on the first anniversary of Morsi's inauguration. Chants to bring him down echoed against distant cheers of support from Islamists who held rival rallies in what has become a dangerously polarized nation.
A youth movement, known as Rebel, has collected more than 22 million signatures on petitions calling for Morsi to step aside for early elections. The president and his Muslim Brotherhood party have refused to budge and the military has dispatched troops around government buildings and along the shipping lanes of the Suez Canal.
"We succeeded in removing Mubarak, who was here for 30 years; you don't think we can remove Morsi, who has only been here for a year?" electrician Mohammad Khaled, 19, said while standing in Tahrir Square in Cairo beneath a clear sky and buzzing military helicopters. "We've been preparing for this day for over two months, and I will stay until he says 'I'm stepping down.' "
Presidential spokesman Ehab Fahmy told reporters: "Dialogue is the only way to reach mutual understanding and to reach national agreement around the different issues of our homeland."
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