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Morsi backers hold smaller protests in Egypt after crackdown

August 23, 2013|By Raja Abdulrahim
  • Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi chant slogans against the Egyptian army during a march Friday near Al Nour mosque in Cairo's Abassia district.
Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi chant slogans… (Manu Brabo / Associated…)

CAIRO -- A week after Egypt witnessed its bloodiest days of unrest, protesters against the military-backed government came out across Cairo and other provinces Friday amid tension but relative calm.

Cairo was under tight security with additional tanks deployed in the streets and Friday prayers banned at several mosques where protests denouncing the July 3 military coup were planned. The Anti-Coup Coalition, an alliance between the Muslim Brotherhood and others groups that oppose the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi, reported that one man was killed when “thugs and MoI" -- agents of the Ministry of Interior -- attacked a demonstration.

But most of the protests proceeded without incident as opposition organizers took a different tack: There was no central gathering spot in one square, as demonstrators instead marched through their respective neighborhoods, leaving them less vulnerable to attack and drawing less attention.

Last Friday, a gathering of thousands in Ramses Square left more than 60 people dead when police began shooting at protesters.

This week’s gatherings, on a day dubbed “Friday of Martyrs,” also were less about reinstating Morsi and more about opposing Gen. Abdel Fattah Sisi, the head of the armed forces, and his violent crackdown on dissent which has killed more than 800.

“We are not coming out for Morsi, we are coming out because of the security and the suppression,” said Mohammad Abu Naga, a taxi driver. “We don't want to return to the previous era of oppression, but Sisi wants to take us back.”

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