Egypt: Mansour meets with army chief

6:37 AM, Jul 6, 2013   |    comments
People take cover as army troops fire tear gas. Mahmoud Khaled, AFP/Getty Images
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CAIRO - Egyptian officials say the country's interim president has held talks with the army chief and interior minister following a deadly day of clashes across the country that killed at least 36 people.

The country's acting president, Adly Mansour, met Saturday with army chief and Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi as well as Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, who is in charge of the police, at the Ittihadiya presidential palace.

It was the first time Mansour, who formally dissolved the parliament Friday, has worked out of the president's main offices since he was sworn-in Thursday as the country's interim leader. Mansour, who was appointed by the military, took over a day after the military overthrew Mohammed Morsi, who was the country's first democratically elected president.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to the Associated Press because they were not authorized to brief the media.

At least 36 people were killed Friday in Egypt as gunfire and running battles erupted in several cities during a day of protests called by Islamists angered by the military ouster of Morsi as a "Friday of Rejection."

At least 12 deaths were reported in clashes in Alexandria, the country's second largest city, after Islamists opened fire on a rally of Morsi opponents, a medical services official told the Associated Press. Police sided with Morsi protesters in the Mediterranean coastal city.

More than 400 were reported injured nationwide, the Health Ministry said.

In Cairo, the bloodiest confrontation came as troops opened fire on protesters outside the Republican Guards military barracks where the ousted president is being held. A Health Ministry official told the Associated Press that four people were killed.

Hundreds of demonstrators had marched to the site following afternoon prayers, chanting, "After sunset, President Morsi will be back in the palace."

At nightfall, a crowd of Islamists surged across the October 6 Bridge over the Nile River and clashed with Morsi opponents near Tahrir Square and outside the state TV building. One witness reported gunfire and stone-throwing, and one person was killed, said Khaled el-Khatib, of the Health Ministry.

Late Friday, military armored vehicles arrived on the bridge and outside the TV station to stop the fighting, and Morsi supporters retreated.

(Copyright © 2013 USA TODAY)

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