Thousands of opponents of President Mohammed Morsi protested across Egypt on Tuesday, stepping up pressure on the Islamist leader to back down on his decree granting himself sweeping powers, DPA reported.
Protesters in Cairo converged on Tahrir Square where a sit-in began on Friday, after Morsi signed a decree making all his decisions and laws immune from legal challenge.
He also barred courts from dissolving the constituent assembly, which is drafting the country's new constitution, as well as the upper house of parliament. Both assemblies are dominated by Islamists.
"I came here because I wanted to voice my total rejection for this constitutional declaration," said the 49-year-old Sahar Dawoud as she entered the already-packed Tahrir Square.
The protests were the largest to be organized by Muslim Brotherhood opponents since Morsi was elected in June.
Protesters shouted "People want the fall of the regime" and "Leave," chants reminiscent of the uprising that forced Hosny Mubarak to step down almost two years ago.
Hundreds of lawyers and journalists led marches chanting "Leave, leave Morsi."
Helmy Sayed Hassan, 58, has been protesting in Tahrir for a week now to protest what he called "Morsi's failure to meet the revolution's demand."
"The revolutionary's and the martyr's demands have not been met. So, I want Morsi to leave power," said Hassan, whose son was killed in clashes between security and protesters near Tahrir in December.
"In three months, they (the Brotherhood) want to own the country. What will happen if we wait for a year," he said.
Three people have died and hundreds of others have been injured since clashes erupted Friday over Morsi's decision, which has been described by opposition groups as a power grab.
Earlier on Tuesday, police forces used tear gas against protesters near the US embassy, near Tahrir Square, which has closed its visa and services offices citing security concerns.
Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups have said they postponed a pro-Morsi protest in a bid to prevent further violence.
Nevertheless, hundreds of pro-Morsi protesters marched in Alexandria to support the president's decisions.
"We should give him some time. He is doing what he can to get rid of all the (Hosny) Mubarak-loyalists and move the country onwards," a woman in the protest told local media.
On their official Twitter account, the Muslim Brotherhood dismissed the rallies as insignificant, saying that Islamist rivals have joined hands with the Mubarak-regime remnants.
Anti-Morsi protests took place in the southern cities of Beni Suef and Luxour, as rival protesters clashed near Assiut's university.
Clashes also erupted in al-Mahalla city, north of Cairo, as rival protesters threw rocks and petrol bombs at each other.
Hundreds rallied in the port city of Suez, carrying banners reading: "Egypt is for Egyptians, not for Brotherhood or Salafists."
Morsi, who headed the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party before becoming Egypt's first elected president, met with the country's top judges on Monday and told them that his decisions are "temporary" and aim at protecting the revolution."
Opposition groups and judges have rejected this statement.