Clashes erupt between pro-anti-Mursi groups in Egypt

Cairo: Deadly clashes broke out on Wednesday night between supporters of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Mursi and opposition protesters in front of the high-security presidential palace even as his deputy proposed a way to end the dispute over a draft constitution.

Brotherhood members, who earlier in the day gave a call for a huge rally near the presidential palace in support of President Mursi, boxed opposition protesters in from two sides, leading to scuffles, Al-Nahar TV channel reported.

Opposition protesters and supporters of Mursi hurled stones and petrol bombs at each other. The clashes came after Mursi, who on Tuesday left the Palace through back gate, on Wednesday returned to the complex.

While protesters battled outside, vice president Mahmoud Mekki held a news conference inside the palace and tried to calm the situation.

He asked the opposition to rein in street protests, and said political groups could agree on a plan to amend contentious articles after a new parliament is elected in 2013, al-Jazeera reported.

He called for "communication between political forces" on the document.

"There must be consensus," Mekki said. "There is real political will to pass the current period and respond to the demands of the public."

Mekki also said the government will not delay the referendum – a key demand of the opposition – nor will Mursi revoke his decree.

Meanwhile, Prosecutor General Talaat Ibrahim Abdallah on Tuesday ordered a probe against three former presidential candidates accusing them of espionage and conspiring a "Zionist plot" against the Islamist government.