Tight security measures in Egypt ahead of Eid holidays

Ahram Online, Monday 14 Oct 2013

Egypt's interior ministry vows to deal firmly with anyone who 'spoils holiday celebrations' amid calls for demonstrations by supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi

File photo from pro-Morsi demonstrations (Photo: Ahram)

Egypt's interior ministry has prepared a mobilisation plan for the country's main streets and squares ahead of the week-long Islamic holiday of Eid Al-Adha, a security official told state news agency MENA, amid calls by supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi to demonstrate on Tuesday following Eid morning prayers.

"The interior ministry will deal firmly and decisively - within the law - with any attempts to terrorise, threaten or spoil the [Eid] celebrations for Egyptians in any way," the official said.

The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL), an Islamist coalition supporting deposed president Morsi, has called on loyalists to take part in Eid Al-Adha prayers across the country on Tuesday, when millions of Egyptians are expected to gather for early morning prayers.

Eid Al-Adha is especially significant because it marks the annual Hajj (Islamic pilgrimage) to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Around two million pilgrims have already arrived at the site for this year's Hajj. 

The security official added that the interior ministry will deploy its vehicles to secure the main streets and squares across the country.

Fears of violence during the holidays are on the rise, as Egypt continues to witness deadly clashes between supporters and opponents of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Earlier on Monday, Egyptian police fired teargas at Morsi-supporters gathering to the east of the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, Ahram's Arabic news website reported.

Three were arrested in the melee.

On Sunday 6 October - the 40th anniversary of the Arab-Israeli war - 57 protesters were killed during clashes between Morsi supporters, opponents and security forces.

Defying a security crackdown for over three months, Morsi's supporters continue to demonstrate against his ouster by the military in July following protests against his one-year rule.

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