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Egypt police prepare to face protest

EGYPT: Police prepared Egypt's capital on yesterday for what online activists said would be a "Day of Wrath" against the Government, taking inspiration from a revolt by Tunisians who toppled their authoritarian president this month.

Police unloaded metal barriers in trucks in areas were protests were expected and fire vehicles with water cannons were parked on the side of quiet early morning roads. The protest has been called on an annual holiday to honour the police.

Online activists have become some of the most vigorous critics of President Hosni Mubarak's three decades in office, and have called for protests against poverty and repression.

Tuesday's demonstrations will test whether they can translate their online message into a street action. Facebook groups and political activists have called for demonstrators to gather from around midday at several points in central Cairo, including outside the Interior Ministry, a court complex and near one of the presidential palaces.

The Interior Ministry has warned protesters they could face arrest if they go ahead with demonstrations. Egypt bans protests without prior permission and, as opposition groups say they have been denied such permits, protesters may be detained.

Cairo, Reuters

 

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