Clashes ahead of second vote on constitution

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THOUSANDS of Islamists clashed with opposition protesters yesterday in Egypt’s second city, Alexandria, ahead of the ­second leg of voting on a disputed constitution today.

Riot police swung batons and fired tear gas to separate the stone-throwing crowds, made up of Muslim Brotherhood members and ultra-conservative Salafis on one side, and secular, mostly young, protesters on the other. The clashes started just after Friday afternoon prayers near the city’s main mosque.

At least 42 people were being injured, a city health official said.

The final round of voting ends tomorrow in the remaining 17 of Egypt’s 27 provinces. Ten voted last Saturday.

Critics say the Islamist-dominated body that wrote the draft did not represent all Egyptians. Liberal and Christians quit in protest. But president Mohammed Morsi rubber stamped the draft and forced through a referendum despite judicial protests.