Police won't allow Morsi loyalists to reach Tahrir: MOI

Ahram Online , Friday 19 Jul 2013

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim says decision is aimed to 'counter any attempts to cause violence'

Egypt's Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said on Friday that police forces "will not allow Morsi loyalists to reach Tahrir Square as other [anti-Morsi] political forces have already announced gathering in the square," Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

Ibrahim's decision is aimed to "counter any attempts to cause violence." He also asked all political forces to "stick to peaceful protests."

"The police along with the army are committed to secure demonstrations, whether in Al-Nahda Square, Rabaa Al-Adawiya or Tahrir Square, as long as [demonstrations] do not resort to vandalism or violence," Ibrahim said.

He also warned that security forces would sternly face those who violate the "internationally recognised rules for protests," confronting anyone who blocks roads, hinders the functioning of or occupies governmental institutions.

The minister also addressed the recent systematic attacks on police and army forces in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, stating that 11 security personnel have been killed in Sinai since 3 July.

Security reinforcements are underway in Sinai to target Jihadists, he added.

"Police and army forces will not return from Sinai until peace and stability are restored with the help of honest tribal chiefs who will help the security personnel," he elaborated.

Islamist militants have targeted the police and army in Sinai after the overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood-backed Mohamed Morsi on 3 July.

Morsi loyalists have staged mass marches Friday across Cairo and several Egyptian governorates to demand Morsi's return to office.

Anti-Morsi demonstrators have organised a gathering on Friday in Tahrir Square to ‘preserve the achievements of 30 June,' namely the ouster of Morsi and the call for early presidential elections.

Ibrahim was appointed as interior minister by deposed president Morsi and reprised his position in the newly formed interim cabinet.

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