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Egypt Police Blocks Anti-Sisi Protests
By Staff, Agencies
Scattered protests broke out Friday in Egypt against President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi but they were quickly dispersed as his supporters took to the streets to stage counter rallies, witnesses said.
Police blocked streets leading to Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square after calls for protests against Sisi following opposition accusations of corruption, which he denies.
Protests broke out on Sept. 20 in Cairo and other cities following online calls for demonstrations against alleged graft by Sisi and the powerful military.
Sisi, who was in New York this week attending the UN General Assembly, returned to Cairo Friday morning, where he was greeted off his plane by senior ministers and later stopped to speak to a crowd of supporters on the roadside.
Asking them why they were up so early on a Friday, the first day of Egypt’s weekend, he said: “The situation isn’t worth it.
“You need to know that the Egyptian people are very aware. ... Don’t worry about anything.”
Sisi also appeared to repeat his earlier rejection of allegations of corruption posted online by Mohamed Aly, a former contractor and actor, in the run-up to the protests. Aly’s videos have attracted a wide following.
Since last weekend’s protests, authorities have carried out a campaign of mass arrests that rights monitors say has seen around 2,000 people detained. Egypt’s public prosecutor said Thursday that “not more than 1,000” had been questioned after participating in protests.
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