Earlier Thursday, the Egyptian army and elite Republican Guard sealed off the presidential palace with tanks and barbed wire, following the worst night of violence of the two-week crisis.
Responding to a call to “protect” the presidential palace, thousands of Brotherhood members and other Islamists descended on the area Wednesday, beating and chasing away some 300 opposition protesters who had been staging a peaceful sit-in there. Hours of street battles followed.
“We raise Egypt’s flag but they raise the Brotherhood flag. This is the difference,” Cairo protester Magdi Farag said as he held the tri-colored national flag stained with blood from his friend’s injury in the clashes.