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Pro-Sisi campaign to join Mohamed Mahmoud commemoration

Youth group condemns plans for supporters of army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to rally in Tahrir Square on second anniversary of clashes that killed dozens of anti-military council protesters

Ahram Online, Tuesday 12 Nov 2013
A protester runs with a tear gas canister, which was earlier fired by riot police, during a protest to mark the one-year anniversary of fatal clashes on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, near the Interior Ministry in Cairo November 20, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

Supporters of Egyptian army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi have announced they will demonstrate in Tahrir Square on 19 November – the second anniversary of the Mohamed Mahmoud Street clashes that left dozens of anti-military council protesters dead.

Refay Nasr, the leader of a group urging El-Sisi  – a military council member when the clashes took place – to stand for president, told Dream TV on Monday that members would hold aloft El-Sisi posters in the square.

Several youth groups have condemned the move.

"The memory of Mohamed Mahmoud is a symbol of the revolution and its martyrs and it should be kept away from any political struggles," April 6 Youth Movement coordinator Amr Ali told Al-Ahram's Arabic news website on Tuesday.

Around 47 protesters were killed during four days of street clashes in November 2011 between security forces and protesters opposed to the military council, which took power following Hosni Mubarak's ouster in February 2011.

During the clashes, revolutionary activists called for the military council to step down from power. At the height of the tension, the council said it would hand over power to an elected president on 30 June 2012.

The clashes erupted after the Central Security Forces violently dispersed a peaceful sit-in in Tahrir Square.

Morsi was ousted by the army on 3 July following mass protests against his rule.

The campaign for El-Sisi to run for president comes amid a rise in his popularity among pro-military Egyptians.

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