Army barricades Cairo squares bracing for Brotherhood protests

Ahram Online, Friday 1 Nov 2013

Army closes off Tahrir and Mostafa Mahmoud Squares in addition to Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda

Army forces guarding in front of the Egyptian museum in Tahrir square, in Cairo on Aug. 19. (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt's army forces have tightened security around Cairo and Giza on Friday ahead of protests planned by Islamist supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi whose trial starts next week.
Army tanks closed-off all entrances to Cairo's central Tahrir Square against traffic. The Sadat underground metro station located in Tahrir remains shutdown since mid-August when a deadly police dispersal of two Islamist sit-ins sparked a wave of street violence leaving nearly a thousand dead nationwide.
Meanwhile, the two sit-in sites, Rabaa Al-Adwaiya Square in Cairo's Nasr City district and Al-Nahda Square in Giza, are also closed in the face of protesters in anticipation of marches that may head there. 
In addition, army tanks surrounded Mostafa Mahmoud Square in Mohandeseen, Giza, a frequent site of major demonstrations. 
The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, an Islamist coalition backing Morsi, called for the Friday protests under the slogan "President's Perseverance Day". 
Morsi, who is due in court on Monday, faces several charges including inciting murder and violence in the December 2012 clashes at Al-Ittihadeya presidential palace.
The deposed president has refused to recognise the court trying him. 
The army ousted Morsi on 3 July amid mass nationwide protests against his rule, a year after he became president in the country's first free democratic elections. Since then, his supporters, mainly the Muslim Brotherhood from which he hails, have staged regular protests calling for his reinstatement. 
Interim authorities have cracked down on Islamists following the dispersal, detaining large numbers of  Brotherhood loyalists, including top leaders, mainly on charges of inciting violence and being part of the now "illegal group."
The Brotherhood was banned as an organisation by court order in September. The group's assets were also frozen.
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