[QODLink]
Middle East

Protesters defy curfew in Egyptian cities

Several thousand demonstrate against military rule in Helwan, Minya and Nasr City following protests in Cairo.

Last Modified: 24 Aug 2013 05:54
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Thousands of Egyptians protesting against military rule gathered in several cities on Friday night, despite tight security.

Anti-coup protesters defied the curfew in Helwan, Minya and Nasr City, following peaceful protests in the capital Cairo.

Supporters of the country's deposed President Mohammed Morsi, who once overwhelmed cities in the hundreds of thousands, changed tactics by demonstrating in small rallies that avoided confronting a heavy military deployment waiting for them across the country.

Security and military forces deployed around Cairo, closing off traffic in some major thoroughfares and in the city centre.

In the southern Maadi district, several thousand protesters marched from the Al-Rayan Mosque to Arab Square. They chanted "coup, coup" and "down with military rule".

Spotlight
Follow our ongoing coverage of the political crisis in Egypt

A mass protest was called for but fewer than expected turned out.

The rallies were seen as a test of whether Morsi supporters can keep up their pressure despite an intensive security crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, from which he hails.

Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith, reporting from Cairo, said photos of Morsi were almost absent at Friday's protests.

"When we spoke to the protesters they said this was a deliberate attempt to widen support among Egyptians for the protest movement. A lot of people say this was not just about Morsi but about a coup and a fear that any democratic advances in Egypt would be taken away by the military," he said.

Security forces had clearly announced that mass gatherings or sit-ins would be quickly dispersed.

Interior Ministry sources told Al Jazeera that fighting erupted in Tanta city of Gharbia governorate, between pro-Morsi protesters and local residents, when Morsi supporters put up pictures of the deposed president in Said street. One person was killed during the fighting, sources said.

The demonstrations came a day after deposed autocrat Hosni Mubarak was released from prison and placed under house arrest in a military hospital in southern Cairo, adding to tensions.

They are also the first since the Brotherhood spiritual leader Mohamed Badie was arrested and accused of instigating violence. Nearly 80 Brotherhood members, including senior leaders and spokesmen, were arrested on the eve of the Friday rallies.

369

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
Treatment for autism in the region has progressed, but lack of awareness and support services remains a challenge.
The past isn't far away for a people exiled from Crimea by Russia and the decades it took to get home.
join our mailing list