CAIRO: Clashes erupted outside Cairo s most renowned mosque Friday as police tried to prevent worshippers from marching in support of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah after the main weekly Muslim prayers.
Dozens of would-be demonstrators lobbed shoes at some 100 police officers who beat the crowd back into the courtyard of the Al-Azhar mosque, the main Sunni seat of learning.
At least 500 worshippers, including women, were blocked inside the precinct of the mosque as police cordoned off the area.
Nasrallah, Nasrallah, destroy and burn Tel Aviv, the crowd chanted, referring to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
Whether Sunni or Shiite, we are all Islamic Resistance fighters, they chanted, referring to Hezbollah s military wing, before burning an Israeli flag and denouncing the pro-Western President Hosni Mubarak.
Mubarak recently said that the Egyptian army was there to defend the country and would not get involved in a conflict in Lebanon.
Public demonstrations are banned in Egypt under a 25-year-old state emergency but they are normally tolerated around mosques and on university campuses. AFP