CAIRO (AP) — Tanks stood at intersections and roadblocks cut main thoroughfares in Egypt on Tuesday, as authorities tightened security during the annual Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday amid continued deadlock between supporters of the ousted Islamist president and the military-backed interim government.
Troops sealed off Cairo's central Tahrir Square with rows of armored vehicles and barbed wire, hoping to thwart any new attempt by supporters of Mohammed Morsi to enter. In recent weeks, they have tried to storm the plaza, the birthplace of the 2011 uprising that forced longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak from power. Authorities have repeatedly warned pro-Morsi protesters against entering Tahrir.
Security, already volatile since 2011, has worsened since the military overthrew Morsi in July following mass protests calling for his resignation.
The interim authorities have launched a major security crackdown on Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, arresting nearly 2,000 members, charging its top leaders with inciting murder and violence, and breaking up demonstrations by Morsi supporters with what rights groups call excessive force that has killed hundreds. Morsi himself has been detained incommunicado.
The crackdown has not prevented Morsi supporters from holding near-daily protests demanding his return however, even though fewer now attend since they regularly descend into violence. Clashes have often erupted between the protesters and security forces and supporters of the military.