Egypt braced for protests on 2nd anniversary of Mubarak's fall


Egyptian anti-government protestors take cover behind burning dust bins during clashes with riot police following a demonstration against Egypt's President and the Muslim Brotherhood in the northern coastal city of Alexandria on February 8, 2013. Thousands took to the streets across Egypt after opposition groups called for 'Friday of dignity' rallies demanding Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi fulfill the goals of the revolt that brought him to power.



Egyptian security forces braced for protests on Monday, planned to mark the second anniversary of the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak.

GlobalPost Senior Correspondent in Cairo Erin Cunningham said Egypt’s interior ministry had increased security around government buildings and transport infrastructure. But some protesters, now focused on demonstrating against Egypt's new president, Mohamed Morsi, have already blocked bridges and metro lines in the capital.

"At least half a dozen marches are expected to converge on Tahrir Square and the presidential palace in an upscale Cairo suburb later this evening," Cunningham said. "The protests are likely to turn violent as demonstrators revert to more combative tactics and police respond with often-excessive force."

In the face of massive protests, Mubarak stepped down after 30 years of authoritarian rule on Feb. 11, 2011. Egypt’s pro-democracy activists are not yet satisfied, however. Protesters say Morsi, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, is ruling in the same vein as his predecessor.

"Morsi’s recent moves, including usurping constitutional authority and announcing a new emergency law that gives security forces sweeping arrest powers, have intensified opposition to his government," Cunningham said. "The subsequent crackdown has only heightened tensions, as protesters say they are battling for democracy and Morsi supporters say they are defending the legitimacy of the state."

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The Associated Press reported that on Monday masked men blocked trains at a central Cairo subway station, citing Egyptian witnesses. The men reportedly stood on the tracks and got into fistfights with passengers who tried to intervene.

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