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Last updated: February 19. 2013 7:17PM - 92 Views

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(AP) Egyptian protesters and police are clashing in Cairo just hours ahead of a planned massive rally by opponents of the country's Islamist president demanding he rescinds decrees that granted him near-absolute powers.


Tuesday's clashes are taking place near the U.S. Embassy and the Egyptian capital's Tahrir square birthplace of the uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak's regime nearly two years ago.


Police are firing tear gas after hundreds of protesters pelted them with rocks in a street leading off the square toward the embassy.


The protesters have been staging a sit-in at the square since Friday night to demand President Mohammed Morsi revoke his autocratic decrees.


Morsi, in power since June, says the decrees are necessary to protect the revolution and the nation's transition to democratic rule.


Associated Press
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