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Pro-Mursi protesters march in defiance of government warnings

Published: Updated:

Supporters of ousted President Mohammad Mursi called on Egyptians to march Monday to stop any police crackdown on two Cairo protest sites that Islamists have manned for weeks, Reuters news agency reported.

Officials had said Sunday that police would move at dawn to break up the sit-ins, but they did not do so, and demonstrators said they had no intention of giving up.

A pro-Mursi alliance, which includes the Muslim Brotherhood, called for nationwide rallies against the military.

“The alliance calls on the people of Egypt in all provinces to go out on marches on Monday and gather everywhere,” it said in a statement.

An Al Arabiya correspondent reported that Muslim Brotherhood supporters were gathering in front of a mosque in Cairo’s Ramses Square to begin a march in defiance of government warnings.

The camps at Rabaa al-Adawiya and Ennahda square have been the sites of confrontation between the army, which toppled Islamist President Mursi last month, and supporters who demand his reinstatement.

The army has been urged by several Western and Arab mediators and some senior Egyptian government officials not to forcibly disperse the protesters, who at times can number as much as tens of thousands.

Hardline military officers have put pressure on army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to move against the protesters, security sources told Reuters.

Confrontations between security forces and protesters have led to almost 300 people being killed since the ouster, including dozens of Mursi supporters shot dead by security forces in two incidents.

Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood issued a statement on Sunday condemning any plans by “coup makers” to interfere with their right to protest and calling on international rights groups to visit their camps to see how peaceful they were.

(With Reuters)