A member of Egypt's ruling Muslim Brotherhood was shot dead in an attack on the group's office in the Nile Delta town of Zakazik on Thursday, the website of the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported.
The incident took place a day before the start of a wave of opposition protests who will demand the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, a year after he was elected.
The news was carried by the official website of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), noted Al-Ahram. FJP blamed an opposition youth group and people loyal to ousted president Hosni Mubarak for the attack.
Two people died on Wednesday in street clashes between supporters and opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood in the city of Mansoura, noted Al-Ahram.
Millions are expected to take to the streets this weekend to demand the resignation of Morsi’s administration. In response, Islamist supporters of Morsi are preparing for battle, forming “vigilante justice groups” to deal with lawbreakers who “threaten state facilities” and “incite violence,” Egyptian media reports said on Thursday.
June 30, the scheduled date for the largest protest, to take place in Cairo's Tahrir Square, is the one year anniversary of Morsi's inauguration. Since then, protesters say, the Egyptian economy has gone from bad to worse. The increasing influence of Islamic fundamentalism inspired by Morsi has done an excellent job of keeping tourists away from Egypt, denying the country one of its most important sources of hard currency.
On Wednesday, ahead of the protests, Morsi gave a speech in which he warned that political polarization in Egypt is threatening the country’s democracy.
He admitted during the speech that he has “erred in some decisions” while being correct in others, the report said.
Speaking to a large crowd of Islamist supporters, Morsi said he has an “obligation” to correct his mistakes, adding he is standing before his audience as a “citizen” while emphasizing Egypt was his responsibility.