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Morsi supporters clash with police

Police fired tear gas after clashes erupted during rallies by hundreds of supporters of Egypt's Islamist president in front of government buildings in the heart of Cairo.

Fighting broke out when the Muslim Brotherhood, which is demanding that president Mohammed Morsi be reinstated, tried to break into the Interior Ministry where they said members are being held.

Protesters threw rocks at police trying to stop them, prompting the tear gas as local residents joined security forces and began throwing rocks at the Brotherhood supporters.

The violence came a day after Egypt's military-backed leadership postponed a plan to besiege two protest camps occupied by Morsi supporters to avoid bloodshed.

Meanwhile, Egypt's interim president swore in 20 new provincial governors in a move that reinforces the new leadership's authority and removes all Muslim Brotherhood members previously installed in the posts by Mr Morsi before his removal as president.

Seven of the new governors appointed by interim president Adly Mansour hail from the military. In line with tradition, most of them took up posts in border governorates, but three were sent to other key governorates.

Two took up posts in the Mediterranean cities of Port Said and Alexandria, where clashes between pro and anti-Morsi protesters have turned violent. A third was given the ancient city of Luxor, a prized tourist destination.

The changes to the administration of Egypt's 27 provinces meant the official removal of the 10 Brotherhood governors appointed under Mr Morsi. Many members of the group who worked in government under him had already left their positions to join the sit-ins in Cairo.

Shortly before mass protests that led to his removal, Mr Morsi appointed 17 new governors in a move critics said was aimed at solidifying Islamist power. The appointments had added to the Brotherhood's already entrenched grip on the executive and legislative branches at the time.

Mr Morsi's appointment of a member of the political arm of ex-Islamist militant group Gamaa Islamiya to be governor of Luxor sparked particular controversy. The group, a close ally of the Brotherhood, had claimed responsibility for what became known as the Luxor massacre, when 58 tourists and four Egyptians were killed at the Temple of Hatshepsut outside Luxor in 1997.

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