Egypt expected to act against pro-Mursi protesters Monday

Sunday 11-08-2013 06:04 PM
Egypt expected to act against pro-Mursi protesters Monday

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi attend evening prayers during the holy month of Ramadan around Cairo University and Nahdet Misr Square where they are camping in Giza, south of Cairo August 2, 2013. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh


CAIRO, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Egyptian police are expected to start taking action early on Monday against supporters of deposed President Mohamed Mursi who are gathered in protest camps in Cairo, security and government sources said on Sunday, a move which could trigger more bloodshed.

The camps are the main flashpoints in the confrontation between the army, which toppled Mursi last month, and supporters who demand his reinstatement.

Western and Arab mediators and some members of the Egyptian government have been trying to persuade the army to avoid using force to disperse the protesters, who at times can number as much as tens of thousands.

Any further violence would almost certainly deepen Egypt's political crisis and keep the government from dealing with vital issues such as the fragile economy.

"State security troops will be deployed around the sit-ins by dawn as a start of procedures that will eventually lead to a dispersal," said a senior security source, adding that the first step will be to surround the camps.

Another security source said the decision to take action, just after celebrations following the holy month of Ramadan, came after a meeting between the interior minister and his aides. (Reporting by Yasmine Saleh; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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