UK & World News
Egypt: New Army Powers Amid Deadly Protests
Police advanced along the Nile Corniche in Cairo firing volleys of tear gas grenades at demonstrators choking on Egypt's Islamisation under the Muslim Brotherhood, two years into the revolution that brought them to power.
Declaring a state of emergency in three major cities on Sunday night, President Mohammed Morsi, a Brotherhood member, secured the approval of Egypt's senate to grant the armed forces powers of arrest.
Rattled by the scale of demonstrations which erupted last Friday and in which more than 50 people have been killed, Mr Morsi called on the opposition to join a "national dialogue".
His call was immediately rejected by the National Salvation Front.
A man was shot dead on Monday in Tahrir Square and opponents of Mr Morsi vowed to challenge his imposition of a state of emergency and curfew in Ismailia, Port Said and Port Suez - three strategically-important towns on the Suez Canal.
An alliance of secular liberals and the Muslim Brotherhood brought down the government of Hosni Mubarak, ending decades of military rule and a permanent state of emergency in Egypt which was used by the president as a means to rule by decree.
Egypt's opposition lost out campaigning for a 'No' vote in Egypt's referendum over a new constitution last December. They believe it could be used to usher in an era of religious rule to the Arab world's most populous country.
The weekend drama has refocused the opposition's agenda and after four days of violence showed no sign of fading.
Egyptian instability is now a regional worry.
Most jittery is Israel, which has a peace treaty with Cairo but is concerned that the central government's grip on the Sinai is slipping amid a spate of attacks on Egyptian and Israeli forces in the area.
Jordan has also been badly hit. Fuel prices have more than tripled there because Islamist radicals in the Sinai have cut fuel pipelines to the Hashemite Kingdom, where King Abdullah II has been gingerly managing a steadily growing threat from the Muslim Brotherhood in his own realm.
In Cairo a 46-year-old bystander was killed by a gunshot, a security source said. It was not clear who opened fire. That was followed by reports of another young man being shot dead in clashes outside a police station in Port Said.
"We want to bring down the regime and end the state that is run by the Muslim Brotherhood," said Ibrahim Eissa, a 26-year-old cook, protecting his face from tear gas in Cairo.
Mr Morsi angered his opponents with a TV address in which he said that "the protection of the nation is the responsibility of everyone. We will confront any threat to its security with force and firmness within the remit of the law."
Along the Corniche in Cairo, plainclothes men could clearly be seen among the police lines throwing stones back at protesters.
The authorities insist they are "responsible citizens".
Some of the worst violence during the start of the revolution two years ago involved plainclothes "supporters" of then-President Mubarak.
There is more than a suspicion that the uniformed men joining the fray against the protests are members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
If true this will confirm, in the eyes of many Egyptians, that their revolution has already been betrayed.