CAIRO -- Prosecutors opened an investigation of ousted President Mohammed Morsi Friday on charges including murder and conspiracy with the Palestinian militant group Hamas, fueling tensions amid a showdown in the streets between tens of thousands of backers of the military and supporters calling for the Islamist leader's reinstatement.
Clashes between Morsi supporters and opponents erupted in Alexandria, with the two sides throwing stones and firing birdshot at each other. Police and army forces were unable to break up the fighting, which killed two people and injured 24.
The announcement of the case against Morsi, which is likely to pave the way to a formal indictment, was the first word on his legal status since the military deposed him on July 3. The Islamist leader has been held by the military in a secret location, incommunicado.
Supporters of Morsi denied the charges against him, calling them politically motivated.
The accusations are connected to a prison break during the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak in which gunmen attacked a prison near Cairo, freeing prisoners including Morsi and around 30 other figures from his Muslim Brotherhood. The prosecutors allege Morsi and the Brotherhood worked with Hamas to carry out the break, in which 14 guards were killed. -- AP