Anger in Egypt Over Morsi's Power Grab

12/3/2012, 3:04 p.m.

CAIRO, EGYPT -- Protesters recently torched the offices of Egypt's ruling Islamist party in several cities during an outpouring of public anger after President Mohamed Morsi issued a sweeping decree granting himself broad new powers and putting his decisions above any challenges by the country's courts.

Protesters set fire to the offices of the ruling Freedom and Justice Party in the seaside city of Alexandria, long a stronghold of Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Morsi was a leader until he resigned to run for president. Party offices also burned in the Suez Canal cities of Port Said, Suez and Ismailia. Activists and bloggers uploaded witness accounts, photographs and video of the protests.

There were also reports of running skirmishes that continued after nightfall, between Morsi supporters and opponents in Alexandria, with more than a dozen injured.

The unrest came at the end of a violent week in downtown Cairo, which has been shaken by several days of clashes between protesters and the police. The latest round of fighting began on the one-year anniversary of an epic, days-long street battle that killed 42 protesters on Mohamed Mahmoud Street and was a turning point in Egypt's transition to democracy.