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Fire breaks out in Egypt's presidential palace grounds amid violent clashes

The violence continues in Egypt and Friday it spread to the presidential palace. NBC's Brian Williams reports.

CAIRO — A fire that broke out inside the grounds of the presidential palace in Egypt Friday was contained and put out, the head of Republican Guard said.

The fire was triggered by demonstrators throwing Molotov cocktails and stones in clashes with riot police.

Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi issued a statement condemning the wave of violence that erupted outside the palace.

At least two more people were killed in clashes in Egypt. The violence forced President Mohammad Morsi to cut short a trip to Europe and return to Cairo. NBCNews.com's Dara Brown reports.

The president also called on political forces to condemn the violence and withdraw all supporters from the areas surrounding the palace. Morsi said all relevant security agencies had been ordered to end the violence immediately and protect all state and public properties.

Opposition forces expressed their disapproval with protesters. It's unclear why the demonstrations turned hostile and violent.

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood said it would "protect the legitimacy of the presidency," which is a veiled threat that the organization could deploy its members and supporters to the palace to confront anti-Morsi protesters.

Reuters reported that at least 15 petrol bombs were thrown over the wall of the palace grounds.

The Associated Press estimated the crowd outside the palace Friday numbered about 6,000.

The violence broke out for an eighth day as opponents of Islamist President Morsi held protests in cities across Egypt.


On the second anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, huge crowds take to the streets in five cities.

According to the AP, about 60 people have been killed in clashes over the past week.

There were also minor skirmishes Friday in the Tahrir Square area, home to the U.S. and U.K. embassies.

A few protesters were injured by riot police and they were taken to local hospitals.

Police also fired tear gas near the British embassy to keep protesters at bay. 

NBC News Staff Writer Ian Johnston, Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Amr Nabil / AP

An Egyptian protester tries to escape from fire after he burned an anti-Mohammed Morsi banner in front of the presidential palace in Cairo on Friday.


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