Egypt on tipping point
Violent clashes between supporters and opponents of Mohamed Morsi could throw Egypt into a civil war.
TEL AVIV - Clashes between supporters and opponents of ousted President Mohamed Morsi in Alexandria have left two people dead and more than 20 injured, with the toll expected to rise.
The two sides began protesting early Friday afternoon.
The violence comes as the country braces itself for more clashes amid calls from rival groups for their supporters to go to the streets.
Police forces have fired tear gas in Alexandria to disperse a rally in support of ousted Morsi.
Protesters are carrying posters calling Egypt's army chief a "traitor" for overthrowing him.
The army has threatened to "turn its guns" on those who use violence while the Muslim Brotherhood is warning of civil war.
"It is either victory over the coup or martyrdom," said senior Brotherhood politician Mohamed El-Beltagy, addressing the main pro-Morsi rally in the sun-baked Egyptian capital.
Meanwhile tens of thousands of pro army supporters are gathering in Cairo's Tahrir square.
They're protesting for an end to "violence and terrorism" although there are fears this evening could see bloodshed.
The crowds have been growing since Thursday after a call earlier in the week by the army chief General Sisi for mass demonstrations in a show of support for the military's "mandate" to stop "violence and terrorism".
At the same time, the Brotherhood is also calling on its supporters to fill the streets in solidarity with their anger against the army.
There is a very visible military presence in Cairo and confrontations seem likely while reports of some skirmishes are already coming in.
"I'm staying home, it's too dangerous to work. I didn't think things in Egypt could get this bad, but every day you hear about clashes and deaths," said Shadi Mohamed, a 22-year-old taxi driver. "Egypt is a disaster," he added.
Meanwhile, Morsi has been placed under investigation for an array of charges including murder, the state news agency said on Friday.
Confrontation appeared inevitable following a month of clashes in which close to 200 people, mainly supporters of Morsi, have been killed. Many Egyptians feared the worse.
Meanwhile, the United States says it's not required to make a decision as to whether or not a coup took place.
A decision that could have forced it to freeze the one-and-a-half billion dollars in mainly military aid it sends to Cairo each year.
Additional reporting by Reuters