Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

Egypt: Liberal Forces Shocked At Islamists' Tahrir Protest

Liberal, leftist and socialist forces holding a Tahrir sit-in against a decree issued by President Mohamed Mursi are shocked at Islamists who announced an intention to stage a demonstration in the famous Square on Saturday.

In a statement on Thursday, Mursi's opponents insisted that their protest will continue until the president rescinds last week's constitutional declaration that expanded his powers.

Mursi issued a decree on Thursday expanding his powers and shielding his decisions from judicial review - a move seen by his opponents as a step towards a new autocratic regime.

The pro-revolution forces denounced Islamists' call to demonstrate in the same location where liberals have held a sit-in since Friday, describing it as a "further attempt at provocation, confrontation and bloodshed".

The statement also accused the move of dividing the people and being an extension of the stubbornness and arrogance of Egypt's authorities.

They held Mursi, "his (Muslim) Brotherhood" and the Interior Ministry, whose role is supposedly to protect citizens - protesters and otherwise - for what they fear may happen on Saturday.

"We warn of any attempts to violently or forcibly disperse the sit-in or drag protesters into clashes", the statement said, calling on the people to join Friday's peaceful demonstration but not fall prey to provocations.

The Brotherhood and its political arm (the Freedom and Justice Party), the Salafi Nour Party and other Islamist forces announced on Wednesday their intention to stage a demonstration in Tahrir Square on Saturday to press on their support for Mursi's decree.

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