Security tightens amid calls for mass protests on ‘Friday of Martyrs’

Egyptian security forces tighten security measures as the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy calls for at least 20 marches on "Friday of Martyrs".

The marches aim to condemn the violence of security forces against protesters following the police's deadly crackdown on sit-ins supporting deposed President Mohamed Morsy last week which left at least 600 dead and 400 thousand injured according to official sources.

Army and police forces have spread over the vicinity of Rabaa El-Adawiya Mosque in Nasr City, where the alliance held its main sit-in for six weeks before the dispersal. They have closed off several nearby streets.   

They also increased their presence at the nearby defence ministry and the Ittihadeya presidential palace in Heliopolis district, a few kilometres away from Rabaa El-Adawiya.

In addition, army forces have closed off all entrances to Tahrir Square in central Cairo with tanks and barbed wire.

Tahrir has been a site for anti-Brotherhood demonstrations and currently hosts several tents of protesters who opted to defend the area in case Morsi supporters attempt to take over the iconic square.

Meanwhile, the army also closed off Gam'et El-Dowal El-Arabiya Street, a main route in Mohandiseen district which intersects with the square where Mostafa Mahmoud Mosque is located. Immediately after dispersing the sit-ins last week, Islamist protesters attempted to set up a new sit-in in front of the mosque, but fierce clashes broke out with security forces and the crowd was quickly dispersed.

The alliance has called for rallies three days after the dispersals, however, the turn out during the past week was small.
The government has imposed a curfew on 14 governorates as well as a month-long state of emergency.

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