In Cairo: Several killed, hundreds injured, tanks deployed as clashes continue

Cairo Protests

Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images

A man is carried away after being injured during overnight clashes in Cairo over President Mohammed Morsi's moves to consolidate power.

At least five people were killed overnight and more than 400 were wounded in clashes between supporters and opponents of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi outside the presidential palace in Cairo, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports.

The country's military has now moved tanks into the area. CNN says that's an effort to "bring some calm to the country's latest center of turmoil." Whether calm will come, of course, is uncertain. Soraya tells our Newscast Desk, "there are calls from Morsi's supporters and detractors for more demonstrations outside the palace in the coming hours."

As she adds:

"The violence overnight was the worst since Morsi issued decrees in late November putting himself above the law [and followed clashes earlier on Wednesday]. His recent call for a national referendum on a controversial new constitution drafted by his allies is escalating the tensions.

"Two more Morsi advisers resigned in protest of the growing violence. In a statement, about a fifth of the Egyptian diplomatic corps demanded the foreign ministry not help with the constitutional referendum that begins this weekend for ex-pat Egyptians."

Morsi is scheduled to address his nation later today. We'll watch for more news from Cairo. Meanwhile, here are some of the headlines from other news outlets:

-- "Rivals Clash Despite Tanks At Egypt Presidential Palace." (Reuters)

-- "In Egypt, Protests Turn Violent As Political Crisis Intensifies." (The Washington Post)

-- "Mursi Branded Pharaoh As New Egypt Gives Way To Protests." (BloombergBusinessweek)

Note: NPR follows Associated Press style on the spelling of Morsi's name. Other news organizations do not.

Update at 9 a.m. ET. Funerals:

Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood protesters left the area around the presidential palace earlier today, Soraya reports. They say they're going to attend the funerals of the people killed in overnight clashes, who they claim were pro-Morsi protesters.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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