Egypt’s Republican Guard, which deployed around the presidential palace on Thursday, said demonstrators must evacuate the area by 3 p.m. (1300 GMT), Reuters reported the presidency saying in a statement.
Supporters and opponents of Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi hurled rocks at each other on Thursday outside the presidential palace, over the heads of soldiers deployed there to protect the building, a Reuters witness said.
Soldiers urged both sides to stop and helped calm the flare-up. Violence outside the palace that erupted on Wednesday had mostly abated by the early hours of Thursday.
At least three tanks deployed outside the Egyptian presidential palace on Thursday in a street where supporters and opponents of Mursi had been clashing into the early hours of the morning, a Reuters witness said.
At least two armored troop carriers were also seen in the area outside the palace. The violence that had stretched from Wednesday afternoon into the early hours of Thursday had abated and streets were calm.
Meanwhile, Mursi met the army chief and cabinet ministers on Thursday to discuss how to stabilize the nation after clashes between his supporters and opponents outside the presidential palace, the presidency said in a statement.
Mursi met General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is the head of the military and defense minister, as well as the prime minister, interior and justice ministers, and others.
They discussed “means to deal with the situation on different political, security and legal levels to stabilize Egypt and protect the gains of the revolution,” according to the statement issued on Mursi’s official website.
Five demonstrators died overnight Thursday in the worst violence since Mursi became Egypt’s first Islamist president in June.
The five were killed by gunfire or buckshot as nearly 350 others were wounded when allies and foes of Mursi clashed around the presidential palace in Cairo, state news agency MENA said.
They started off by lobbing fire bombs and rocks at each other on Wednesday as their simmering standoff over the president's expanded powers and a new constitution turned violent.
Mursi drew the wrath of the opposition and many in the magistrate by assuming exceptional powers under a November 22 decree.
Bloodied protesters were seen carried away as gunshots rang out and the rivals torched cars and set off fire crackers near the presidential palace, where opponents of Mursi had set up tents before his supporters drove them away.
Riot police were eventually sent in to break up the violence, but clashes still took place in side streets near the palace in the upscale Cairo neighborhood of Heliopolis.
In the early hours of Thursday gunshots rang out intermittently and sporadic violence continued, an AFP correspondent said.
Many of the opposition had left and a few hundred protesters remained outside the palace.
The violence spread beyond the capital, with protesters torching the offices of the powerful Muslim Brotherhood in the Mediterranean port city of Ismailiya and in Suez, witnesses said.
“It’s a civil war that will burn all of us,” said Ahmed Fahmy, 27, as the clashes raged behind him.
“They (Islamists) attacked us, broke up our tents, and I was beaten up,” said Eman Ahmed, 47. “They accused us of being traitors.”
Activists among the Islamist marchers harassed television news crews, trying to prevent them from working, AFP reporters said.
Wael Ali, a 40-year-old Mursi supporter with a long beard, said: “I’m here to defend democracy. The president was elected by the ballot box.”
At the heart of the dispute is a decree by Mursi in which he gave himself sweeping powers, and the hasty subsequent adoption of a draft constitution in a process boycotted by liberals and Christians.
But despite the protests prompted by the decree two weeks ago, Vice President Mahmud Mekki said a referendum on the charter “will go ahead on time” as planned on December 15.
The opposition would be allowed to put any objections they have to articles of the draft constitution in writing, to be discussed by a parliament yet to be elected.