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Egypt vote sparks violent clashes between Islamists and opponents

Hassan Ammar / AP

Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans as one holds up the Quran, Islam's holy book, during a demonstration after the Friday prayer, in Cairo, Egypt, on Dec. 14. Opposing sides in Egypt's political crisis were staging rival rallies on Friday, the final day before voting starts on a contentious draft constitution that has plunged the country into turmoil and deeply divided the nation. Arabic reads, "yes to the constitution."

Khalil Hamra / AP

Egyptian protesters attend Friday prayers before a demonstration against a constitution drafted by Islamist supporters of President Mohammed Morsi in Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt, on Dec. 14. Opposing sides in Egypt's political crisis were staging rival rallies on Friday, the final day before voting starts on a contentious draft constitution that has plunged the country into turmoil and deeply divided the nation.

Petr David Josek / AP

Protesters play with a ball in front of a tank securing the area around the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, on Dec. 14. Opposing sides in Egypt's political crisis were staging rival rallies on Friday, the final day before voting starts on a contentious draft constitution that has plunged the country into turmoil and deeply divided the nation.

Reuters -- Stone-throwing supporters and opponents of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi clashed in the Egyptian city of Alexandria on Friday ahead of a referendum on a new constitution that has divided the Arab world's most populous nation.

Dozens of activists fought with clubs and swords, witnesses said, and a number of cars were set alight on the streets of Egypt's second biggest city on the eve of a vote that Mursi hopes will bring an end to the country's worsening political crisis.

Scuffles started near a mosque in Alexandria when opposition members handing out flyers clashed with Mursi supporters.

In Cairo, flag-waving pro-Mursi Islamists staged a final rally on Friday before the referendum, but the gathering outside one of the capital's main mosques was peaceful.

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AP

Opponents of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi hold pamphlets urging a "no vote" on a constitutional referendum as cars burn during clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohammed Morsi in Alexandria, Egypt, on Dec. 14, a day before the referendum on the constitution. Opposing sides in Egypt's political crisis were staging rival rallies on Friday, the final day before voting starts on a contentious draft constitution that has plunged the country into turmoil and deeply divided the nation.

Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters

Supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi and members of the Muslim Brotherhood chant pro-Mursi slogans during a rally at Rabaa El Adaweya Mosque square in Cairo on Dec. 14. Flag-waving supporters of Mursi staged a final rally on Friday before a divisive referendum on a new constitution that the Islamist leader hopes will bring an end to weeks of political crisis and street clashes. The sign reads, "Yes to constitution".

Reuters

Supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi (above) clash with anti-Mursi protesters to prevent them from entering a mosque in Alexandria on Dec. 14. Flag-waving supporters of the president staged a final rally on Friday before a divisive referendum on a new constitution that the Islamist leader hopes will bring an end to weeks of political crisis and street clashes.

Reuters

A car belonging to supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi burns during clashes with anti-Mursi protesters in Alexandria on Dec. 14. Flag-waving supporters of the president staged a final rally on Friday before a divisive referendum on a new constitution that the Islamist leader hopes will bring an end to weeks of political crisis and street clashes.

Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters

An employee of the constitutional referendum committee prepares a ballot box for the upcoming referendum at a polling station in Cairo on Dec. 14. Flag-waving supporters of the president staged a final rally on Friday before a divisive referendum on a new constitution that the Islamist leader hopes will bring an end to weeks of political crisis and street clashes.