The Egyptian army has moved to divide pro and anti government protesters on Thursday, amid reports that demonstrators from both sides were heading back to Tahrir square in Cairo, the site of Wednesday clashes which left at least 5 dead.
In Wednesday clashes, the army largely remained neutral, and was mostly seen arresting some demonstrators.
Advocates for both sides said there were more demonstrators on their way to the square, Pan-arabic network Al Jazeera reported. Cars full of pro-government reporters were reportedly on the way to Tahrir Square, The groups seemed to be organized and being commanded, the network's correspondents observed.
Some army tanks have moved to protect anti-government protesters in the square, according to reports. All but one entrance to the square is blocked, Al Jazeera reported.
The army said it had orders to keep pro and anti-government protesters apart.
In the pre-dawn hours, there were reports of gunshots in the square. The network said heavy gunfire aimed at the anti-government demonstrators left seven people dead early on Thursday, the network said, citing local doctors.
Five were dead and 836 wounded after Wednesday's clashes, Egyptian Health Minister Samih Farid said Thursday on state television. The death toll after 10 days of demonstration has topped at least 100, according to reports.
Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq and Vice President Omar Suleiman are meeting with the opposition, which includes Tahrir square protesters, according state media reports.