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Two dead as Morsi supporters hold new rallies in Egypt

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Two people were killed Friday when clashes broke out between supporters and opponents of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi as thousands demonstrated despite a sustained government crackdown on Islamists.

The main rallies took place in the capital Cairo, while other protests broke out elsewhere in the country including in second city Alexandria and the Nile Delta province city of Damietta.

One person was killed in Alexandria and another in Damietta province when clashes there erupted between protesters and supporters of Morsi, medics said.

AFP correspondents in Cairo said protesters rallied in the upscale suburb of Maadi following the weekly Friday Muslim prayers.

Official media said smaller protests erupted in the afternoon in several provinces across the country.

The protests come a day after Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim survived a bomb targeting his convoy in which 21 people were injured. One of them died of his injuries Friday, a health official said.

The Islamist Anti-Coup Alliance led by Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood called for Friday's protests but only managed to attract several thousand supporters unlike past rallies when hundreds of thousands showed up.

The dwindling number of protesters come as police have pressed a crackdown on the Brotherhood, arresting hundreds of its members including its supreme guide.

The security forces stormed two major pro-Morsi protest camps on August 14, in an operation that saw hundreds of people killed.

Morsi was ousted by the military on July 3 after popular protests against his single year of turbulent rule. He is being held at an unknown location.

State media has said Morsi will stand trial in a criminal court for "incitement to murder" along with 14 other Brotherhood members, but no date has yet been given for the trial.

Morsi has been separately accused of crimes related to his 2011 escape from prison.

Since his ouster Egypt's new authorities have arrested the Brotherhood's supreme guide and more than 2,000 members, disrupting the group's ability to mobilise supporters.

On Tuesday a military court gave a life sentence to a Brotherhood member and sentenced 51 others to jail for attacking soldiers in the canal city of Suez in July.

The death sentence was the first imposed since the military toppled Morsi.

Earlier, an official told AFP the government would soon decide whether to dissolve an NGO registered under the Brotherhood's name amid allegations.

The NGO is legally a separate entity to the Brotherhood movement.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130906/two-dead-morsi-supporters-hold-new-rallies-egypt