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Friday, November 15, 2013

Egypt: Demonstrations held across the country as the state of emergency ended and the curfew was lifted

Islamist and pro-Morsy marches in Egypt
(Image: Reuters)
Several hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt’s deposed President Mohamed Morsy have gathered for the Friday demonstrations in Cairo and in other Egyptian governorates as well including Alexandria, Suez, Upper Egypt and other cities, as the state of emergency ended by the court decree on 13 November and the curfew officially lifted on 14 November.

Since January 25 Revolution Friday became a traditional day for staging the demonstrations in Egypt, so the curfew imposed on the Egyptian cities after violent dispersal of pro-Morsy sit-ins in Cairo and Giza and the following clashes in the middle of August started at 7 p.m. on Fridays in attempt to restrict the supporters of the ousted President from staging the protests.

Though as the curfew was lifted the supporters of Egypt’s Islamist group and ousted President have organized the demonstrations in order to express their support of Mohamed Morsy and to protests against the current interim government and Armed Forces who stand behind the ouster of Mohamed Morsy, what Islamist loyalists considering being a military coup.

The marches have started from several mosques in different districts of Cairo and in other Egyptian cities as well after Friday noon prayers. Protesters have been chanting against the Armed Forces and their leadership including Abdel Fattah El-Sissi, Head of Egypt’s Armed Forces and Minister of Defense. The protesters have also chanted to support the former President Mohamed Morsy and to protests against the court trial against him demanding his reinstatement.

In addition to that several groups of youth from Al-Azhar University in Cairo have also reportedly staged the marches started from their campuses located close to the recently opened Rabaa Al-Adaweya Square in Nasr City, the site of the massive pro-Morsy sit-in. There have been some marches in the vicinity of Rabaa Al-Adaweya organized by the youth.

Egypt’s security and armed forces have taken additional security measures and precaution ahead of the planned Muslim Brotherhood’s and pro-Morsy protests on Friday deploying troops to the sites of the expected marches.

Several clashes have reportedly erupted in the coastal city of Alexandria, where the supporters of Mohamed Morsy clashed with the demonstrators supporting Egypt’s Army and Abdel Fattah El-Sissi. Protesters have clashed and thrown rocks and stones at each other, so the police fired tear gas on them in order to disperse the crowds. One person is dead as a result of the Alexandria clashes, according to the Health Ministry.

Though despite the lifting of the curfew and the calls of Muslim Brotherhood and pro-Morsy Alliance for Support of Legitimacy for the “million-man march” to be held on Friday the numbers of the demonstrators were relatively law.