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Islamists gather in support of Egpytian President Morsi

Islamist supporters of Egypt's Mohammed Morsi have rallied in support of the under-fire president. The demonstration comes one day after the mass protests against the country's newly drafted constitutional charter.

Thousands of Egyptians converged on Cairo Saturday in a show of support for Morsi, his controversial decrees and the recently passed draft constitution. The rally, centered outside Cairo University, was called by the Muslim Brotherhood, which backed Morsi, and its Islamist allies.

Protesters countered with mass demonstrations against Morsi's recently issued presidential decrees, which gave him broad new powers including immunity from judicial review of his actions, and legal immunity for the Islamist-dominated assembly that drafted the country's new constitution.

The opposition called the new draft constitution, hastily adopted early Friday morning, "flawed" and "half baked." It is expected to go to a popular referendum within two weeks.

Pro-Morsi rally

By midmorning Saturday, hundreds of pro-Morsi demonstrators were gathered at the university, waving Egyptian flags and holding up pictures of the president.

"The people want the implementation of God's law," chanted the crowd, with one banner reading, "The Muslim Brotherhood supports President Morsi's decisions."

The Muslim Brotherhood and its allies have said they will avoid Tahrir Square, where anti-Morsi protesters remained camped out into Saturday.

Protests across country

Tens of thousands of Morsi opponents gathered Friday in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the focal point of the January 25 revolution that ousted longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Watch video 01:31

Rival protests begin in Cairo

Other protests took place Friday in Alexandria and the Nile Delta town of Al-Mahalla Al-Kobra, where clashes were reported between anti-government protesters and supporters of Morsi.

Two people have been killed and hundreds more wounded since demonstrations began following Morsi's issuing of the decrees on November 22.

dr/rc (dpa, AFP, Reuters, AP)

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