UPDATE 3: Four dead in clashes on anniversary of Rabaa dispersal
Four protesters and one police officer died on Thursday in events marking the first anniversary of last August's dispersal of the Rabaa Al-Adawiya sit-in
Ahram Online , Thursday 14 Aug 2014
At least four persons were killed in clashes between alleged Muslim Brotherhood supporters and police forces on Thursday, the first anniversary of the bloody clearing of a sit-in supporting ousted president Mohamed Morsi last August, said Al-Ahram's Arabic news website.
Al-Ahram first reported two deaths from clashes with security forces in Giza, Anwar El-Shawadfi and Ayman Abdel-Hadi, and then shortly afterwards said that two more persons had been killed in similar confrontations with police in Cairo.
One protester, Mamdouh Mohamed Saad, was killed in Cairo's working class Matariya district in the capital's northeast. Another, unnamed, died in another lower class district – Dar Al-Salam – adjacent to the upscale southern district of Maadi.
No further details about the deaths were reported by Al-Ahram.
The fifth death came from a police sergeant, who was shot dead in Helwan early on Thursday on the outskirts of Cairo by unidentified suspects who fired at his private car and fled.
Hundreds of presumed Morsi supporters attempted to block highways and roads in Cairo and Giza early on Thursday, standoffs that were found in several other governorates nationwide, as protesters mobilised to denounce the dispersal of the Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Nahda sit-ins in Cairo on 14 August 2013. Hundreds died in the dispersals and the violence quickly spread nationwide.
In Alexandria, security forces dispersed around two hundred demonstrators, arresting at least six. They chanted against the police and army and blocked traffic, a security source told Al-Ahram.
Six others were arrested for allegedly handing out leaflets calling for violent protests, a security source said.
In Tanta, Gharbiya governorate, security forces dispersed a pro-Morsi rally using teargas. The protesters gathered at Tanta stadium and clashed with local residents, launching fireworks.
Meanwhile, security forces have intensified their presence around the capital in anticipation of protests, Al-Ahram reported.
Tahrir, Rabaa and Nahda squares have reportedly been closed.
Army and police checkpoints are reportedly checking vehicles entering Cairo, Giza and Qalioubiya, state news agency MENA reported.
Security forces have closed streets leading to the Ittihadiya presidential palace in Heliopolis.
Tens of alleged Morsi supporters used burning tyres to cut the ring road in the Al-Waraq area and the 26 July corridor, two of the capital's main intercity highways. According to news reports, security forces came and re-opened the vital ring road earlier on Thursday and the perpetrators fled the scene.
In Cairo governorate, nearly 200 demonstrators gathered at Halmia Al-Zaitoun Square in East Cairo, blocking traffic from both sides and chanting anti-police and anti-army slogans.
In Nasr City, nearly 150 demonstrators gathered near Al-Salam Mosque and chanted against President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi. Protesters also tried to block traffic in Mostafa Al-Nahas area, but security forces dispersed them.
In Kafr Al-Sheikh governorate, a group of masked protesters were shown blocking Balteem highway using torched tires in a live video streamed online.
In Minya, Upper Egypt, a number of protesters torched tires on the railway at Bani Mazar, blocking trains for a couple of hours.
The autostrad highway in Maadi was blocked by protesters using burning tires. Earlier Thursday, protesters had blocked the vital highway before they were removed by security forces.
In Nasr City, protesters displayed the four-fingered Rabaa sign and chanted anti-Sisi slogans. In Haram, several pro-Morsi rallies were held.
In Fayoum, protesters blocked the ring road with burning tires.
In Sharqiya in the Nile Delta, unknown assailants destroyed electricity pylons and mobile network towers in several villages. An Al-Ahram newspaper distribution vehicle was also torched.
In Damietta, protesters blocked the New Damietta highway and the El-Swallama to Kafr Saad highway with burning tires.
On Twitter, pro-Morsi tweeps published photos and statuses on blocked traffic on the Cairo-Ismailiya highway, as well as the entrance to 6 October city.
In contrast, Sayed Osman, head of public relations in the Cairo Traffic Directorate, told Al-Ahram that all main squares in Cairo, Giza and Qaloubiya governorates were operating normally and traffic was smooth on all major highways.
In a separate incident, a police officer was shot dead by gunman in Helwan on the outskirts of Cairo. The motive for the attack, on Thursday morning, is unknown.
The Muslim Brotherhood-led National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL) had called on loyalists to flock to major squares —specificially Tahrir, Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Nahda — on Thursday to commemorate the violent dispersals a year ago.