Egypt police close off Tahrir Square ahead of 'Friday of rage' protests

Ahram Online, Friday 4 Jul 2014

The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy has called for 'formidable' protests

Tahrir Square
File photo: A man stands in front of a barbed wire fence set up by soldiers standing guard on armoured personnel carriers (APC) on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, near Tahrir Square in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

Security forces cordoned off Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday to prevent traffic from entering the central thoroughfare, in anticipation of protests by supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, Ahram Arabic news website reported.

A leading pro-Morsi coalition, the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, had called for “formidable” protests to mark a “Friday of rage.”

This is the second day in a row that Tahrir Square, the cradle of the Egyptian 2011 revolution, is closed to traffic. On Thursday, the first anniversary of the ouster of Morsi, the square was also cordoned off to prevent Morsi supporters from protesting in the iconic space.

On Thursday, pro-Morsi protesters demonstrated in several Egyptian cities. One protester and one police conscript were killed in resulting clashes. Eighteen-year-old Heba Gamal reportedly died during clashes between protesters and police in Alexandria, and an as-yet unnamed conscript was killed in Helwan when a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a police checkpoint.

On Friday afternoon, railways in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Sohag resumed after a 30-minute halt when unknown assailants set fire to car tyres on the railway line, Al-Ahram Arabic website reported.

Firefighters put the fire out and a report was filed with the police. No injuries were reported.

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