Egypt braces for mass rallies after Mursi grabs sweeping powers

 
Protesters throw stones towards riot police during clashes after a rally to mark the one-year anniversary of fatal clashes at Mohamed Mahmoud street, in the vicinity of the Interior Ministry, in Cairo November 22, 2012. (Reuters)
Protesters throw stones towards riot police during clashes after a rally to mark the one-year anniversary of fatal clashes at Mohamed Mahmoud street, in the vicinity of the Interior Ministry, in Cairo November 22, 2012. (Reuters)
 
By AL ARABIYA
 
Egypt’s health and interior ministries were put on high alert on Friday as the country braced for mass rallies to protest against or support President Mohammed Mursi’s latest decrees that grant him sweeping powers.
 
Egypt’s ministry of interior has warned protesters not to clash with police and to keep their demonstration non-violent.
 
The ministry also urged protesters not to target and cause damage to public institutions, calling on “noble” Egyptian citizens to report on violent saboteurs and aggressors among protesting crowds.
 
However, clashes between police and protesters were reported near the Ministry of Interior in Cairo on Friday, Al Arabiya correspondent said, adding that hundreds of protesters were flocking to the capital’s Tahrir Square to demonstrate against Mursi’s new decrees.
 
Amid fears that rival protests might develop into bloody clashes, the health ministry deployed 45 ambulances in and around the iconic Tahrir square, where the major protests will be held, the ministry’s spokesman Ahmed Omar said.
 
On Thursday at least four people were injured after clashes between opponents of Mursi and members of the Musilm Brotherhood, who were celebrating Mursi’s decisions, in the northeastern province of Dakhalia.
 

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