Supporters of former Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi take part in a protest during Friday prayers at the Raba El-Adwyia mosque square in Cairo July 5, 2013. At least three protesters were shot dead on Friday outside the Republican Guard barracks in Cairo where deposed President Mohamed Mursi is being held, security sources said, as angry Islamist supporters confronted troops across the country. Thousands of people marched across the country in what Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood movement called a "Friday of Rage" to protest against his ouster and an interim government set up to prepare for fresh elections. (REUTERS/Louafi larbi)
17 dead as Islamist protests spread in Egypt
In the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, one person was killed in sometimes fierce clashes between rival factions, and in the southern city of Assiut at least one more person died from gunshot wounds.
Friday's fatalities add to the dozens of deaths in a month of unrest during which huge rallies in Cairo and other cities called for Mursi's resignation, amid anger over economic stagnation and perceptions of a Brotherhood power grab.
In an early incident that raised tensions in Cairo, three protesters were shot dead outside the Republican Guard barracks where the deposed Mursi is being held, security sources said.
Mohamed Ezzat, 35, who said he was a Brotherhood member, said protesters would stage a sit-in outside the Republican Guard headquarters and other locations throughout Cairo, to protest the "coup" against Mursi.
The army denied blame for the shootings. An army spokesman said troops did not open fire on the demonstrators and soldiers used blank rounds and teargas to control the crowd.
Later, tens of thousands of cheering Islamists gathered near a mosque in a Cairo suburb where they were addressed by Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie, free to speak despite reports on Thursday that he had been arrested.
"There cannot be a concession on our President Mohamed Mursi, otherwise it is our lives," he shouted as a military helicopter hovered low overhead.
Soldiers and special forces backed by armoured personnel carriers attempted to keep the two factions apart, but were not always successful. Several dozen people were injured.
Islamists also took to the streets of Alexandria and Assiut to join the protests, and in Damanhour, capital of Beheira province in the Nile Delta, 21 people were wounded in violence between supporters and opponents of Mursi.
State television and radio also reported clashes in the Nile Delta towns of Gharbeya and Beheira, in Qena south of Cairo and the rural province of Fayoum.
In a video that appeared on YouTube on July 3, the day Mursi was ousted, hundreds of men at a rally in North Sinai province cheered and chanted: "No longer peaceful after today!"
An army spokesman said the army in the Sinai was "on alert". He denied an earlier report by state-owned media Al-Ahram that a state of emergency had been imposed in the South Sinai and Suez provinces, which had caused a spike in oil prices from international markets on edge over the unrest.
ALARM IN WASHINGTON
Continued violence will alarm the United States. Washington has so far avoided referring to the army's removal of Mursi as a "coup", a word that under U.S. law would require a halt to its $1.5 billion in annual aid.
Mursi's opponents also say it was not a coup but an intervention to impose the "people's will".
Egypt's interim head of state, Adli Mansour, appointed on Thursday, began work to prepare the country for new elections, dissolving parliament by decree. State television also said he appointed Mohamed Ahmed Farid as head of intelligence.