Clashes erupted between Brotherhood supporters and opponents near the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Mokattam, Caito on Friday. Rocks flew between both parties in the adjacent streets.
Protesters also attacked and smashed microbuses transporting Muslim Brotherhood members on the main road that leads to the headquarters.
Mokattam residents are forming ad hoc neighbourhood watch committees to secure their areas in case clashes reach their homes.
Earlier, protesters had already started gathering for ‘Friday of Restoring Dignity’ demonstrations at the headquarters in the hilly Cairo suburb to demonstrate against the Islamist group, while Brotherhood members and supporters formed human chains around the building to protect it from any possible attacks.
The call to protest was prompted after Muslim Brotherhood members and guards reportedly attacked a group of anti-Brotherhood protesters and graffiti artists outside the Islamist group’s headquarters on Saturday. Police repeatedly sought to disperse the crowds with teargas.
Subsequent clashes erupted Sunday when police used force to disperse a hundred-strong protest by activists, who had gathered in front of the headquarters to protest the Brotherhood’s “assault” on Saturday.
Brotherhood supporters chanted in support of implementing Islamic law and against “secularising” the state.
Security forces set up checkpoints in the streets surrounding the headquarters, blocking the main road leading to it.
In a statement on Thursday, the interior ministry had called on political currents planning to take part in the protests to avoid getting involved in violence, vowing to be unbiased towards different political currents and forces.
The ministry stressed its responsibility to ensure citizens’ security and to protect public property.
The groups that have responded to the call for protest include the Free Egyptians Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the Constitution Party; the main opposition parties under the National Salvation Front umbrella group.
Meanwhile hundreds of 6 April Youth Movement members spontaneously protested at the New Cairo home of President Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party.
On their internet media outlet, the group objects to the “rule of the Supreme Guide,” accusing Morsi of taking orders from the head of the Muslim Brotherhood – a common allegation – and also says the Brotherhood is a complete failure in governing the country.
Egypt is currently undergoing a stage of political unrest, coupled with an economic crisis, leading to widespread anti-government sentiment evident in recurrent protests across the country throughout the past few months.