DHAKA: Thousands of demonstrators are on the streets of the Egyptian capital Cairo for rival rallies as emotions run high ahead of a planned referendum.
The opposition have breached a barrier outside the presidential palace but there has been no violence.
Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, who called the vote on Saturday to ratify a new constitution, has asked the army to maintain security.
Egypt has asked the IMF to delay a loan because of political turmoil.
Egypt requested the delay to the $4.8bn (£3.6bn) loan after President Morsi suspended a programme to increase taxes, Prime Minister Hisham Qandil told a news conference.
The International Monetary Fund says it "stands ready to continue supporting Egypt during the ongoing transition and to consult with the authorities on the resumption of discussions regarding the [loan]".
The Egyptian economy has been hard hit by nearly two years of political upheaval since the protests which toppled
ex-President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.
BDST: 0225 HRS, DEC 12, 2012
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