25 January 2014

Egypt: Govt Steps Up Security Ahead of Jan 25 Celebrations and Protests

All the roads leading to Tahrir, Rabaa al-Adaweya and al-Nahda squares were closed by army forces on Saturday morning ahead of celebrations of the January 25 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in 2011, the state news agency said.

Egypt also stepped up security around the Ittihadiya presidential palace, deploying fire trucks and State Security forces.

Some civilians have already erected large speakers in front of the Heliopolis Sporting Club near the palace and street vendors have started flocking the area, MENA said.

Army forces were also deployed on the road leading the defense ministry in Ain Shams and barbed wires were placed to secure the building.

A bomb exploded by a police academy in Ain Shams earlier, injuring one man, following a wave of explosions on Friday that killed six people.

A militant group that goes by the name Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (Supporters of Jerusalem) has taken responsibility for the attacks, but the Muslim Brotherhood is widely blamed by the media and army supporters.

Supporters of ousted President Mohamed Mursi of the Brotherhood have called for demonstrations against the army on Saturday while supporters of the army are also planning to gather to celebrate.

Egypt's army ousted Mursi last July in response to mass demonstrations across the country, suspended his constitution and called for early presidential and parliamentary elections.

A new constitution was written and passed earlier this month with a 98.1 percent approval while the Muslim Brotherhood was declared a "terrorist organization" by the interim government in December.


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