BEIRUT

Middle East

Death toll in Egypt clashes rises to 17

  • An Egyptian policeman tries to extinguish a police vehicle set on fire by Muslim Brotherhood supporters on a ring road in the capital, Cairo, on January 3, 2014 as thousands of protesters backing deposed president Mohamed Morsi rallied across the country before police moved in to disperse them, sparking clashes. AFP PHOTO / KHALED KAMAL

CAIRO: An Egyptian security official says the death toll from clashes between Islamist protesters and security forces the day before has risen to 17.

The official reported the new toll on Saturday. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to media.

Friday's protests gripped Cairo and other heavily populated cities and provinces such as Alexandria, Ismailia, Fayoum and Minya.

They were the most violent in months, coming less than two weeks ahead of a key referendum on an amended constitution.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest Islamist group, and its supporters have called for a boycott of the vote. They have staged near-daily protests since the military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in a popularly-backed coup in July.

 
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