File Photo: Students at Ain Shams university protest killing of engineering student Belal Ali Saber, Cairo, Egypt (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egyptian police dispersed Islamist protest marches in several parts of Greater Cairo on Friday as Muslim Brotherhood loyalists vowed to increase demonstrations leading up to the anniversary of the January 25 revolution.
Police fired teargas at protests in Ain Shams, a Brotherhood stronghold in eastern Cairo where anti-government protests take place weekly. Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported that protestors set off fireworks.
Forces also dispersed a similar protest in Helwan, south of Cairo, and arrested three people.
Protesting without prior authorisation from the interior ministry is illegal in Egypt, and the Muslim Brotherhood has been declared a terrorist operation and banned.
The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy – an Islamist umbrella group led by the Brotherhood – had called on its supporters to start a new protest week on Friday under the slogan "Together for Tahrir [Liberation] and Purging" as preparation for the new "25 January wave", as the fourth anniversary of the 2011 revolution nears.
To date, no other political groups have announced they will take part in the protests.
In previous years, the 25 January anniversary has seen demonstrations and clashes between protesters and security forces.
Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood have staged regular protests with its allies since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi in summer 2013.