Assailants attacked the hundreds of protesters who marched on Egypt's High Judiciary Court in downtown Cairo to protest against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's recent decree granting himself near-absolute powers, including freeing his decisions from judicial review and ordering retrials for former top officials, including his predecessor, the deposed Hosni Mubarak.

Egyptian protesters gather outside the country's high court in Cairo, Egypt, on Nov. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohammed Asad)
Egyptian protesters gather outside the country's high court in Cairo on Nov. 24. (Mohammed Asad/Associated Press)

Ahram Online reporters said the demonstrators were attacked with fireworks, which stirred panic among them as everyone ran aimlessly to escape violence. 

The protesters gathered in front of the High Court as members of the Judiciary General Assembly mulled measures to oppose Morsi’s highly-controversial decree.

They chanted "the people demand the downfall of the regime" and "Freedom, Bread, the dissolution of constituent assembly," in reference to the embattled Islamist-dominated constitution writing body.


A few hardcore activists hurling rocks also clashed with riot police in the streets near Tahrir Square, and other protesters reportedly targeted the offices of the Muslim Brotherhood, with which Morsi is affiliated, in several towns:


Following an emergency meeting on Saturday, Egypt’s highest body of judges condemned Morsi's edict, calling the move an “unprecedented assault” on the judiciary, the Associated Press reported. The country's primary court in Alexandria and the judges’ club announced they and public prosecutors have suspended all work until Morsi's decree is withdrawn.

One of the most controversial edicts states that the president has the right to take any steps to prevent “threats to the revolution,” wording that activists say is vague and harkens back to the type of language employed by Mubarak to clamp down on dissent.

A sit-in and protests in Tahrir Square lasted well into the night after a massive rally Friday in which thousands of chanting protesters demanded Morsi's resignation:

Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood has called for a mass demonstration in Cairo on Tuesday to show support for Morsi.