SUPPORTERS and opponents of ousted Egyptian Islamist president Mohammed Morsi have held major rallies in Cairo on the first Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Mr Morsi’s supporters gathered in the east of the city to call for his reinstatement.
At the same time, thousands of anti-Morsi protesters, whose mass demonstrations led to his removal by the army last week, gathered in smaller numbers in Tahrir Square, the focus of dissent that led to the removal of Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Dozens of people have died in clashes across the country since Mr Morsi’s ousting last week.
Mr Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement may have alienated many people while in office, but many Egyptians are also uneasy at the military’s intervention in the country’s politics, analysts say, and what is emerging is a battle for public opinion and the middle ground.
United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon has warned against the exclusion of any party from the political process.
Meanwhile, the US said it did not believe it should immediately suspend aid to Egypt.