Egypt: protesters breach palace barricade
Several hundred Egyptian protesters breached a concrete and metal barricade outside the Cairo presidential palace, as groups gathered for rival rallies over Mohammed Morsi’s constitutional referendum proposal.
There was no violent confrontation despite the tensions surrounding the determination of Islamist President Mr Morsi to press ahead with a Saturday referendum on a controversial new constitution drafted by a panel dominated by his Islamist allies.
The protesters pulled apart a high metal gate bar by bar and toppled concrete blocks with chains.
Hundreds of soldiers who had erected the barrier at the weekend, to block access roads following deadly clashes in the area last week, fell back closer to the palace. Six tanks were stationed close to the walled compound.
Fears of street clashes grew as Mr Morsi said Egypt had asked for the International Monetary Fund to delay a $4.8 billion (£3 billion) loan because of the political turmoil
Last week, running battles between opposition and Islamist supporters wielding petrol bomb, handguns and metal bars left seven people dead and hundreds hurt.