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Thousands hold anti-gov't protests in Egypt

English.news.cn   2013-02-23 08:35:00            

CAIRO, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of Egyptians held nationwide anti-government protests Friday, demanding sacking the government and dissolving the Muslim Brotherhood, to which President Mohamed Morsi is affiliated.

Protesters outside the presidential palace raised banners saying "leave and take your movement with you," in reference to the president and the Muslim Brotherhood.

More protesters flocked to Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square and asked for toppling the government, trying its leaders and sacking the prosecutor general, along with releasing all political detainees, official news agency MENA reported.

Outside Egyptian High Court of Justice in downtown Cairo, thousands of protesters chanted slogans of "Leave, leave" and " Down, down with rule by the guide," referring to the Muslim Brotherhood's leader Mohamed Badie.

The security forces have intensified their presence in areas surrounding the building, and the protests are being filmed to identify outlaws in case clashes erupt between protesters and security men, a security official was quoted by Ahram as saying.

Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters expressed support for the armed forces after media reports said the defense minister was sacked.

They marched from Shubra district in northern Cairo to Tahrir, announcing civil disobedience and asking the armed forces to interfere and "rescue Egypt from MB (Muslim Brotherhood)."

In Port Said, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets Friday, as the city has witnessed six consecutive days of civil disobedience to demand justice for people killed in January's clashes outside Port Said prison and other parts of the city, which killed at least 40 people and injured over 1,000.

The protesters chanted against the president, the Muslim Brotherhood and the interior ministry. Schools and shops in the city have been shut down during the week and over 20,000 workers of factories in the investment area have been working on half shifts, according to official reports.

In a bid to ease the tension in the area, Morsi, who decided earlier to impose a 30-day curfew and a state of emergency on Port Said and two other canal governorates Suez and Ismailia, decided Tuesday to submit a draft law on restoring the free zone in Port Said and allocating over 59,000 U.S. dollars from the Suez Canal's annual revenues to develop the three canal governorates and provide more job opportunities.

In Damietta governance, citizens and members of political groups launched a so-called "we won't pay" campaign, threatening not to pay the fees of electricity, water and natural gas unless the government clean the streets, Hatem Baayah, a member of Popular Alliance, told Xinhua.

Baayah added that the peaceful disobedience would be developed gradually until the government respond to the citizens' demands, which include sacking the prosecutor general, trying the interior minister and cancelling the decision to start the parliamentary elections.

In Tanta, the capital city of Gharbiya governance, hundreds of protesters set the Muslim Brotherhood's regional headquarters ablaze amid voices against the group.

Meanwhile, protesters besieged al-Mahalla police station in Gharbiya, hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at the station and tried to storm it. The security forces responded by firing tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.

Among the participating groups are the Free Front for Peaceful Change, Coalition of Revolutionary Powers, Revolution Youth Union and the April 6 Youth Movement (Democratic Front), according to media report.

On Wednesday, more than 24 parties and political movements called for mass protests across the country in a press statement, which asserted that "in a modern civil national state, no one is above the law, and no room for misusing power or manipulating the people's destiny is existing."

Editor: Deng Shasha
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