Egyptian troops, cops ready for protests

2013-08-23 13:39
A man sifts through debris at the burnt Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo's Nasr City, Egypt. (Ahmed Gomaa, AP)

A man sifts through debris at the burnt Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo's Nasr City, Egypt. (Ahmed Gomaa, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cairo - Egyptian troops and police stood ready in Cairo to foil Muslim Brotherhood plans for "Friday of Martyrs" protests against the army's bloody crackdown on followers of ousted president Mohammed Morsi.

The Brotherhood, hounded by Egypt's new army-backed rulers, has called for marches from 28 mosques after midday prayers in Cairo, testing the resilience of its battered support base.

Security precautions appeared relatively low-key, even near the Fateh mosque in the heart of the capital where gun battles raged last Friday and Saturday, killing scores of people.

The mosque's metal gates and big front door were locked and chained. A doorman said prayers had been cancelled. Two armoured personnel carriers were parked down the street, where people shopped at a bustling market.

Egypt has endured the bloodiest civil unrest in its modern history since 14 August when police destroyed protest camps set up by Morsi’s supporters in Cairo to demand the reinstatement of the Islamist president, who was deposed by the army on July 3 after huge demonstrations against his first year's rule.

Only one riot police truck was parked near the Rabaa al-Adawiya square in north-eastern Cairo, home to the Brotherhood's biggest protest vigil until police and troops stormed in, killing hundreds of people, bulldozing barricades and burning tents.

The mosque there was closed for repairs. Workmen in blue overalls stood on scaffolding as they covered its charred walls with white paint. Children scavenged through piles of garbage.

Troops used barbed wire to block off a thoroughfare leading to Nahda Square, the site of the smaller of the two Brotherhood sit-ins.

No armoured vehicles

Traffic moved freely around the huge Nour mosque in the Abbaseya neighbourhood. There were no armoured vehicles or barbed wire, but Friday prayers there had also been cancelled.

The authorities declared a month-long state of emergency last week and they enforce a nightly curfew. The state news agency said the armed forces had strengthened their presence around the presidential palace and the defence ministry.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which won five successive votes held in Egypt after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, is reeling from a week of bloodshed and the arrest of many of its leaders in what the authorities call a battle with terrorism.

In a symbolic victory for the army-dominated old order, Hosni Mubarak, the ex-military former president who ruled Egypt with an iron fist for 30 years before a popular uprising toppled him in 2011, was freed from jail on Thursday. His successor Mursi, Egypt's first freely elected president, remains behind bars.

The Brotherhood's "General Guide" Mohamed Badie, who was arrested on Tuesday, is due to go on trial on Sunday along with his two deputies, Khairat al-Shater and Saad al-Katatni, on charges that include incitement to violence.

At least 900 people, including about 100 soldiers and police, have been killed in violence across Egypt since 14 August, officials say. Brotherhood supporters say the toll is higher.

The Brotherhood, founded in 1928, could once mobilise vast crowds, drawing on the same organisational strength it wielded at the ballot box, but its protests have dwindled this week in the face of the security crackdown.

State of emergency

"We will remain steadfast on the road to defeating the military coup," the pro-Mursi National Coalition to Support Legitimacy and Reject the Coup said in a statement.

Graffiti on a mosque wall in central Cairo illustrated the deep divisions that have emerged since army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted Morsi.

The spraypainted message "yes to Sisi" had been crossed out and painted over with the word "traitor". Slogans elsewhere read "Morsi is a spy" and "Morsi out". Someone had also written "Freedom, Justice, Brotherhood."

The Brotherhood survived for generations as an underground movement before emerging as Egypt's best-drilled political force after Mubarak fell. But its popularity waned during Morsi’s year in office when critics accused it of accumulating power, pushing an Islamist agenda and mismanaging the economy.

The Brotherhood, which Egypt's new army-backed rulers have threatened to dissolve, says Morsi’s government was deliberately undermined by unreconstructed Mubarak-era institutions.

Mubarak, 85, still faces retrial on charges of complicity in the killings of protesters, but he left jail on Thursday for the first time since April 2011 and was flown by helicopter to a plush military hospital in the southern Cairo suburb of Maadi.

The authorities have used the state of emergency to keep him under house arrest, apparently to minimise the risk of popular anger if he had been given unfettered freedom. Local newspapers on Friday focused on the latest arrest of Brotherhood leaders, giving scant coverage to the former strongman's exit from jail.

"Mubarak will never be an important political player, but symbolically it's a victory dance by the reconstituted old state," Joshua Stacher, an Egypt expert at Kent State University in the United States, said of the former leader's release.

Adding to a sense among some activists that the freedoms won in the 2011 revolt are in danger, planned amendments to the constitution leaked to the media this week appear designed to place limits on political parties and ease restrictions on the participation of Mubarak-era officials in politics.

Read more on:    mohammed morsi  |  hosni mubarak  |  egypt  |  egypt protests  |  north africa  |  egypt crisis
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music
 

17 photo illusions that look so real

What if they aren’t illusions? What if that dog really has a human foot – then what?

 
 

For chic geeks...

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!
New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!
Puppy goes crazy over iPad game

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Don`t judge so quickly or expect too much, be more accepting and understanding and make space for fun and spontaneity. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.