William Hague has expressed deep concern at the ongoing violence in Egypt, urging authorities and opposition activists to show restraint as protests against president Mohamed Morsi raged.

Rocks, firebombs and sticks were used as weapons in fighting between supporters and opponents outside the presidential palace in Cairo.

Thousands of upporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist party, have flocked to the palace, responding to a call for them to demonstrate their solidarity.

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An Egyptian carries her brother while selling napkins at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt

Three presidential advisers have quit over Morsi's handling of the constitutional crisis, which began when he issued a declaration purporting to protect the assembly drafting the new Egyptian constitution from interference from judges. But in effect, the declaration makes him immune from any legal challenge

The health ministry said 211 people had been injured so far.

Foreign Secretary Hague said: "I am concerned by reports of violent clashes following earlier peaceful protests in Cairo. I urge all sides to show restraint.

"The UK remains committed to supporting Egypt's political transition and strengthening democracy.

"We are in close contact with both the Egyptian authorities and leaders of the opposition.

"We call on the Egyptian authorities to make progress on transition in an inclusive manner which allows for a constructive exchange of views.

"We urge all parties to resolve their differences through a process of dialogue which allows all voices to be heard."

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A supporter of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, pictured at right, chants slogans during a demonstration

According to Reuters, riot police have been deployed to try to contain the violence.

Vice President Mahmoud Mekky has attempted to offer a compromise over the controversial draft constitution which sparked the uprising, and offered that a written agreement between the two sides could be submitted to the next parliament, to be elected after a referendum on the constitution on Dec. 15.

Mursi had returned to his home after being forced to flee earlier this week as protesters surrounded the building.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the de-facto leader of the Egyptian opposition, tweeted as the violence raged:


Mohamed ElBaradei
Morsi must stop bloodshed, rescind declaration, postpone referendum & enter into immediate dialogue with opposition. Egypt is under siege.

According to a Reuters report, Morsi's supporters tore down tents erected by around 300 opposition activists, who had attempted to "occupy" the space with a tent city. They came armed with pellet guns.

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Egyptian protesters chant anti Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a demonstration outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt

The pro-Morsi group chanted "The people want to cleanse the square" and "Morsi has legitimacy", AFP reported.


Nadia El-Awady
Morsi, don't think because you're an Islamist we won't call for your end to be same as Mubarak's as person in charge while this is happening

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at a news conference in Brussels: "It needs to be a two-way dialogue ... among Egyptians themselves about the constitutional process and the substance of the constitution."

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  • Egyptian army soldiers set up barbed wire barricades and deploy tanks outside of the Egyptian presidential palace in Cairo on December 6, 2012, after a night of clashes between supporters and opponents of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. (GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Egyptian protesters chant anti Muslim Brotherhood slogans outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • An Egyptian man shouts slogans during a march towards the presidential palace in Cairo on December 4, 2012, protesting President Mohamed Morsi's decree widening his powers. (Gianluigi Guercia/Getty Images)

  • Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s supporters try to detain an opposition protester during clashes outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • An Egyptian protesters flashes the victory sign as he holds a poster in Arabic that reads, "leave," outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi arrive outside the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt. (GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi clash with anti-Morsi protesters outside the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt. (GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi arrive outside the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt. (GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi clash with anti-Morsi protesters outside the Egyptian presidential palace on December 5, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt. (GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A supporter of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, pictured at right, chants slogans during a demonstration outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • An Egyptian protester holds a poster with Arabic that reads, "leave," during a demonstration outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • Opponents of President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans during a demonstration outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. Supporters of Morsi and opponents clashed outside the presidential palace. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • Fireworks burst over Tahrir Square as protesters gather in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

  • Egyptian protesters chant anti Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a demonstration in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

  • Egyptian protesters chant anti Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a demonstration in front of the main gate of the presidential palace, background, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

  • Egyptian protesters carry national flags and chant anti Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a demonstration in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

  • Egyptian protesters chant anti Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a demonstration in front of the presidential palace, seen in the background, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

  • An Egyptian protester holds placard in Arabic that reads, "yes for the rights of martyrs," during a demonstration in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

  • Egyptian protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a rally in front of the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

  • Egyptian riot police stand guard behind barbed wire while protesters chant anti Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a demonstration in front of the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

  • Protesters chant slogans and wave national flags in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

  • An Egyptian protester takes a photo with her mobile phone as she chants slogans in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

  • Protesters chant slogans and wave national flags in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

  • An Egyptian walks past a stand displaying state-owned newspapers in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

  • A boy watches as an Egyptian security lay out barbed wire along streets leading to the Itihadiya presidential palace in the neighbourhood of Heliopolis in Cairo, on December 4, 2012. (AFP/Getty Images)

  • Protesters chant slogans and wave Egyptian national flags in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

  • Egyptian security lay out barbed wire along streets leading to the Itihadiya presidential palace in the neighbourhood of Heliopolis in Cairo, on December 4, 2012. (AFP/Getty Images)

  • Egyptian protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a rally in front of the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

  • Egyptian Constitutional Assembly secretary general Amr Darrag holds a copy of the new Egyptian constitution draft on December 4, 2012 during a apress conference at the Shura Council in Cairo, Egypt. (GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Protesters pass a banner with Arabic that reads, "Ahmed Gomaa severely wounded in the brain and is lying in intensive care," referring to the injuries sustained by Gomaa, a photographer working for the Associated Press, who was severely beaten on Nov. 27 by Egyptian security forces while covering clashes in Tahrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

  • Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s supporters, background, clash with opponents, foreground, outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)