Egypt Warns against Anniversary Protests
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Authorities in Egypt warned against anti-army protests on Sunday when the country celebrates the 40th anniversary of an attack on Israel, saying the protesters will be regarded as agents of foreign powers.
"Protesters against the army on the anniversary of (October 6) victory will be carrying out the duties of agents, not activists," presidential spokesman, Ahmed al-Muslimani, said. "It is not befitting to go from a struggle against authorities to a conflict with the nation."
The warning came in response to calls by the Muslim Brotherhood for fresh demonstrations during the day. Brotherhood supporters have been staging protests against the military coup that toppled President Mohamed Mursi on July 3.
Besides the Brotherhood, supporters of the military have also called for rallies on Sunday to mark the anniversary of an Egyptian attack on Israeli forces in the Sinai during the 1973 war, Reuters reported.
Political tensions have gripped Egypt and hammered the economy since the army ousted Mursi, installed an interim government and drew up a political road map it promised would bring fair elections.
On Saturday afternoon, about 1,000 anti-military protesters tried to reach the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque area in northeast Cairo, where security forces crushed one of their protest camps in August. All but about 50 were turned back by police, who fired tear gas, security sources said.
Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said in a meeting with aides that security forces would not tolerate attempts to block roads or "spread chaos," the state news agency reported.
"The ministry will deal with the utmost firmness and decisiveness with any of those practices, and confront any lawlessness," it quoted him as saying.
The Brotherhood accuses the military of staging a coup and sabotaging democracy by removing Mursi, the country's first freely-elected president.