Egypt's police disperses small Islamist rallies in Nile Delta cities

Ahram Online , Friday 28 Nov 2014

Pro-Islamist, anti-government demonstrations reported in Kafr Al-Sheikh, Beheira, Alexandria and Minya

Security forces stand guard in Red Sea's Hurghada on Friday (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Cities around Egypt saw small-scale demonstrations on Friday afternoon, in response to a call by Salafists for a day of demonstrations against the government.

Two officers were killed earlier in the day in the capital and in nearby Qalioubiya governorate, while a man was shot dead in clashes at a protest in Matariya in eastern Cairo.

Calls by an ultraconservative group, known as the Salafist Front, for an "Islamic uprising" on Friday raised apprehension that larger-scale protests may occur. Security around the country was beefed up as a result.

Several towns and villages in the Nile Delta's Sharqiya governorate saw protests where hundreds of demonstrators raised pictures of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi along with copies of the Quran, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported.

Police apprehended three Egyptians they accused of burning tyres on a road connecting Sharqiya's capital Zagazig with a nearby village.

A police officer and four security personnel were injured in Sharqiya governorate when an unidentified assailant threw an improvised bomb at a police station in the town of Abu-Kebir.

In Kafr Al-Sheikh, one of the largest Nile Delta governorates, nine people were arrested after police dispersed a small rally in the governorate capital of the same name.

The rally took place on one of Kafr Al-Sheikh city's highways. Al-Ahram correspondent Mohamed El-Essawy reported that protesters raised copies of the Quran, a gesture which has been condemned by several state-sanctioned religious authorities in recent days.

In Kafr Al-Dawwar in the Nile Delta governorate of Beheira, four people were arrested in the afternoon when police dispersed a demonstration, firing teargas. Dozens participated in two other protests in small villages in Beheira, Al-Ahram correspondent Yasser Zeidan reported.

Alexandria also saw small protests that were quickly dispersed by police, who arrested 20 people, Al-Ahram said.

Rallies by supporters of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood group have significantly reduced in size amid a police crackdown which has seen hundreds killed and thousands arrested.

Clashes were also reported between police forces and protesters in several towns in Upper Egypt's Minya governorate, known for its widespread Islamist support.

Several shops belonging to Coptic Christians were vandalised in the town of Malawi in Minya.
In contrast to other governorates, the Red Sea governorate saw relative calm on Friday, Al-Ahram reported.

A protest law passed in late 2013 bans all demonstrations that don't secure prior approval from the interior ministry.

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