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Egypt's Mansour dissolves Shura Council

Egyptian state television says the military-backed interim president Adly Mansour has dissolved the Islamist-dominated Shura Council. It had had lawmaking powers under the toppled presidency of Mohammed Morsi.

Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour on Friday dissolved the Shura Council, the chamber dominated by Morsi's allies that took up lawmaking powers in June last year when Egypt's lower house was dissolved by court order.

State television also said on Friday that Mansour had appointed outgoing intelligence service chief Rafaat Shehata as a presidential advisor on security.

Mansour, the 67-year-old chief justice of Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court, was sworn in as interim president by fellow judges on Thursday.

Fatal gunfire

Mansour's moves on Friday coincided with fatal gunfire as hundreds of Morsi supporters converged on the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo (pictured above) and hung a picture of Morsi on barbed wire.

At least one person was killed. Gunfire from several directions was followed by tear gas that forced protestors to disperse. The military said it had only fired blank rounds. Television footage showed protestors with shotgun pellet wounds.

Brotherhood leader appears

Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie also appeared at an Islamist rally in the capital and demanded that Morsi be reinstated as president. A military helicopter circled low overhead.

Security sources had previously said that Badie was among a number of Muslim Brotherhood leaders arrested in the wake of the military's removal of Morsi.

Morsi, who was elected a year ago, has not been seen since Wednesday when he was ousted by the military after four days of protest by millions of Egyptians. They had accused him of squandering his electoral mandate by putting power in the hands of hard-line Islamists and failing to deal with a spiraling economic crisis.

Morsi supporters, in turn, accused the military of wrecking Egypt's attempts to install democracy by carrying out a coup against an elected leader.

Earlier on Friday, thousands of Islamists had also protested in Alexandria and Assiut. In the Suez city of Islamlia, troops fired into the air as Morsi supporters tried to break into the local governor's office.

Opposition calls for rival protests

That prompted a call by Egypt's rival liberal coalition, which had sought a change in government, for its supporters to take to the streets.

Several people were hurt in violence between the rival factions in Damanhour, the capital of Beheira province in the Nile Delta.

Early on Friday, US President Barack Obama said he was "deeply concerned" about events in Egypt, but he refrained from calling the military intervention a coup.

ipj/mz (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)

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