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Egyptians to mark uprising toppling ex-president Mubarak

English.news.cn   2014-01-25 04:31:10

by Mahmoud Fouly

CAIRO, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- On the eve of the third anniversary of January 25 uprising that toppled ex-president Hosni Mubarak in 2011, a lot of Egyptians are determined to stage mass celebrations on Saturday in defiance of security concerns, believing the police and the military would be able to protect them.

Anti-government protests are also expected to be staged on Saturday by loyalists of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, led by the Muslim Brotherhood, besides youth groups like April 6 Youth Movement that denounced the recent security practices on protesters and the recently-activated protest law that they consider as limitation of freedom of expression.

"Tomorrow will still be a celebratory day and no one will be able to frighten the Egyptians," said Ibrahim Qandil, a student at media college in Cairo University, lashing out at the Brotherhood and April 6 Youth Movement for their intended anti-military marches.

Cairo streets appeared quiet on Friday, while security vehicles were deployed on vital bridges and outside government institutions, after four blasts hit security targets during the day, leaving six people killed and around 100 injured.

"We will celebrate tomorrow and I expect celebrations to be staged everywhere in Egypt regardless of today's explosions," Mohamed Fathy, a 32-year-old technician told Xinhua at one of downtown Cairo streets.

"Today's blasts will not scare me off," said the young man, stressing his hope for security and stability.

Besides the six victims of the four blasts, at least 12 others were killed on Friday during clashes between pro-Morsi protesters and security men across Egypt.

"Nothing wrong will happen tomorrow," Abbas Ismail, a 66-year- old retired employee, reassured. The old man, who currently works as a driver, told Xinhua that the assailants launched their " sudden" attacks because the police were in a state of preparation.

"Tomorrow the security will be in full control of the situation, " he said while parking his car at one of Giza main streets, urging Egyptians to take to the streets and reassuring that "the presence of throngs of celebrators will help prevent such attacks. "

However, some other Egyptians are concerned about possible violence during on January 25 anniversary celebrations, preferring to be "in the safe side," although the presidency, the cabinet, the police and army urge citizens to take to the streets to join the celebrations.

"There is no need for such mass celebrations if it would lead to the death of innocent people," said Mohamed Saber, 61, who works for a printing house near Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo.

"I want the upcoming presidential elections to be free and fair and no one would impose a certain person to be president," Saber told Xinhua, referring to the masses who urge military chief and Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to run for president.

A Sinai-based al-Qaida-inspired group known as Ansar Beit al- Maqdis warned Egyptians against holding any pro-military rallies on January 25 celebrations.

"If you stay at home and do not hold marches, you have a right upon us to enjoy safety and peace, but if you take to the streets, we are able to deter you," the group's statement said Friday.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, a supporter of Morsi, claimed responsibility for the blast outside Cairo security headquarters on Friday morning that killed at least four people and injured dozens, as well as an earlier blast at a security department in Daqahliya province north of Cairo in late December, which left 17 dead and more than 130 injured.

Since Morsi was removed by military last July, his supporters have been holding protests denouncing his removal as "a military coup" and calling for his reinstatement.

In mid-August 2013, Islamists held nationwide protests after security forces violently dispersed two major pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo and Giza, resulting in the deaths of about 1,000 people.

The police also arrested thousands of Morsi's supporters, including leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has recently been declared by the interim government as "a terrorist organization."

"Why do they call their opponents as terrorists?" Mostafa Ahmed, a 22-year-old student who works for a gas station in Cairo, exclaimed, voicing intention to join Saturday's anti-government marches.

"Pressure generates explosion," the young man continued, "not all Morsi's supporters are Brotherhood, and a just ruler should respect the opinion of his opponents."

Editor: yan
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