Violence has flared in the Egyptian capital as protesters vented their anger at the outcome of the country’s first round of presidential voting. Part of the headquarters of candidate Ahmed Shafiq was set alight.
Images of the fire were broadcast on Monday evening by the privately-owned Al-Hayat television channel. The blaze was started by protesters, the report said, and there were no injuries.
The fire was started at an annex of the headquarters of the former Prime Minister Shafiq, who is to take on Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi in the second round of the election in June.
State news agency MENA said the campaign office had been broken into and vandalized before it was set on fire.
Results of the first round were announced earlier on Monday, with Morsi gaining 24.8 per cent of the votes and Shafiq 23.7 percent, said election commission chief Farouk Sultan. The pair emerged as the top two candidates from a field of 13 and are now set to contest the second round in voting on June 16 and 17.
While some celebrated at the news, thousands of others took to the street to voice frustration, some arguing that the elections were fraudulent. Hundreds were reported to have gathered in Tahrir Square, the focal point of protests last year that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak.
Shafiq served as Mubarak's last prime minister and is viewed by protesters as a symbol of the deposed president's rule. Some protesters who took part in last year's uprising have also expressed dissatisfaction with Morsi as not sufficiently representative of change.
Protests have also erupted in the port city of Alexandria and the eastern city of Suez.
rc/av (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)