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Tahrir Square reopens to traffic

Squares in Cairo and Giza reopen after Islamist protests prompted their closure on Sunday

Ahram Online, Monday 25 Nov 2013
Tahrir Square
Soldiers sit atop army vehicles as they stand by Tahrir square in Cairo October 11, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
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A number of key squares reopened to traffic on Monday after a day-long closure due to protests.

Tanks sealed off the iconic square, along with others in Cairo and Giza, to prevent them being occupied by supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Traffic was noticeably obstructed in several vital areas as a result.

They were demonstrating to mark 100 days since security forces dispersed two pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo and Giza, killing hundreds.

The measures blocked attempts by Morsi's Islamist backers to rally in Tahrir Square – the focal point of the 2011 revolution that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Also reopened to traffic on Monday were Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square in northeast Cairo and Giza's Nahda Square – where hundreds of Morsi supporters died in mid-August.

Egypt's first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi was ousted on 3 July.

His backers have since staged regular protests against the country's interim rulers, but a harsh crackdown has sharply diminished their ability to drum up street support.

On Sunday, interim president Adly Mansour signed into law a protest bill which rights campaigners say would curb the right to assemble and protest peacefully.

The new law requires an advance permit to stage assemblies and gives authorities the power to ban protests deemed a "threat" to national security.

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