At least 54 people were killed in clashes between police and anti-government protesters in Egypt on the third anniversary of the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak.
The majority of the deaths were in Cairo, according to the health ministry. Security forces lobbed teargas and fired in the air to try to prevent anti-government demonstrators from reaching Tahrir Square, the symbolic heart of the 2011 uprising, where government supporters called for the head of the military, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, to run for the presidency.
Armoured personnel carriers were deployed to try to keep order and anyone entering Tahrir had to pass through a metal detector.
Elsewhere in Cairo, supporters of the man Sisi toppled last July, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi, marched in over 30 neighbourhoods to protest against Morsi’s overthrow. There were smaller gatherings of pro-democracy activists who are opposed to the authoritarianism of both men.
The protesters defied threats of violence from an al-Qaida-inspired group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which claimed responsibility for a series of bomb blasts in Cairo on Friday that targeted police and killed at least eight people.