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Thursday
Dec062012

Egypt Reeling as Morsi Protests Intensify

Ed Giles/Getty Images(CAIRO) -- The situation in Egypt became even more volatile Wednesday as opponents of President Mohammed Morsi clashed with his supporters outside the presidential palace in Cairo, leaving at least five people dead and 400 others injured.

Protests have escalated over the past two weeks since Morsi suspended judicial overview of his actions and the country is moving toward a vote on a constitution that critics contend will move Egypt from a secular to an Islamist state.

Crowds of liberals, human rights groups and backers of former President Hosni Mubarak have swelled in numbers to convince Morsi that he must accept the will of Egyptians, which is to seek a more democratic form of government.

But with tensions growing and people losing patience, the frustrations are turning to violence.  The weapons of choice, at this point, are rocks, sticks and firebombs.

Meanwhile, Morsi is having problems keeping his own government together as the resignation of three more aides brought the number to five who have left his panel of 17 advisers.

Morsi was also lambasted by leading Egyptian figure Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nation's nuclear watchdog group.

ElBaradei, who advocates reform and democracy, suggested that Morsi's regime was "even worse" than Mubarak's, accusing the government of launching a "vicious and deliberate" assault on demonstrators.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio