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Egypt Islamists call for fresh marches to Tahrir

Pro-Morsi alliance plans marches to Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday, shows no sign of ending protests despite deadly security crackdown

Ahram Online , Thursday 10 Oct 2013
Ramsis square clashes 6 october
Anti-Mursi protesters (bottom) clash with members of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi supporters, along a road at Ramsis square, which leads to Tahrir Square, at a celebration marking Egypt's 1973 war with Israel, in Cairo October 6, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)

Supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi have called for fresh protests despite recent clashes that left dozens dead and hundreds injured.

A Muslim Brotherhood-led alliance urged protesters to march to Cairo's Tahrir Square, the iconic protest venue during the 2011 uprising, after Friday prayers.

Some 57 people were killed on Sunday during clashes between Morsi supporters and police, while thousands of pro-military protesters celebrated the anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

In recent weeks Morsi loyalists have repeatedly tried to gather in the symbolic square but have been repelled by police and civilian supporters of the interim government.

On Thursday, the pro-Morsi National Alliance to Support Legitimacy said the protests, dubbed "Tahrir for All Egyptians," would send a message against "division" and "discrimination," and show defiance despite the "violence, brutality and barbarism of the coup."

Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, was ousted by the army on 3 July following mass protests against his rule. His backers have decried the move as a "coup" and a violation of democracy. They have been holding street protests ever since.

But attendance at the protests has diminished sharply amid a crackdown which has seen the top leaders of Morsi's Brotherhood arrested as well as over 3,000 other Islamist activists.

The pro-Morsi alliance warned followers against "provocations" by the army, police and "thugs" summoned by the "coup" leaders.

A day after Sunday's violence, suspected militants killed nine people. Three policemen were killed by a car bomb in South Sinai, and gunmen shot dead six soldiers near the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya. Assailants also fired rocket-propelled grenades at a satellite communication dish in Cairo's Maadi district.

Renewed violence and deadly street fighting has increased fears that a return to democracy – scheduled to take nine months – will be delayed. The transitional roadmap envisions a new constitution will be ready in a month, with parliamentary and presidential polls to follow by early next year.

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