Egypt curfew reduced to four hours except Friday

Ahram Online, Thursday 24 Oct 2013

Curfew will shorten to 1am-5am, except on Fridays when it will continue to begin at 7

big curfew
Egyptian soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint during a dawn-to-dusk curfew (Photo: AP)

The Egyptian government reduced on Thursday the nationwide curfew by one hour except for on Fridays, where it will continue to begin at 7pm, Al-Ahram's Arabic website reported.

The decision to reduce the curfew, now from 1am to 5am, was made in accordance to interior ministry security reports, Al-Ahram added.

The Friday curfew was not shortened, as the weekend day is popular for protests calling for the reinstatement of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, ousted by the military in July following mass protests against his rule.

The curfew was first imposed on 14 August after security forces raided two Cairo protest camps set up by Morsi supporters, leaving hundreds dead and sparking days of bloody street violence. More than 300 police personnel were also killed since. 

The presidency has justified the measure by saying it was taken in response to "assaults on public and private property as well as killings by extremist groups."

More than 40 churches have been burnt or looted, allegedly by Morsi sympathisers.

Meanwhile, Egypt's North Sinai has witnessed violent confrontations between security forces and suspected Islamist militants, with dozens killed on both sides. 

Egypt has gradually relaxed the curfew, which was initially set at 7pm. On 19 September, the curfew was pushed from 11pm to 12am.

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