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US embassy in Cairo warns nationals of possible clashes

The US embassy in Egypt has warned its nationals of possible unrest following the announcement by pro-democracy supporters that they intend to organise protests to denounce the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi. “Representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood have announced through local media their intention to organise protests today, Friday, November 15,” said the embassy statement. “Information suggests that its supporters are being directed to assemble in public squares throughout the country, likely beginning after mid-day prayers. While there is no indication that the demonstrations will not be peaceful, violent clashes could occur.”

The embassy also pointed to potential problems next Tuesday, November 19, on the second anniversary of the clashes in Mohammad Mahmoud Square. Diplomats believe that Brotherhood and other pro-democracy supporters may try to establish a presence in public squares leading up to the anniversary. They have warned US citizens to increase their security levels, particularly when travelling between Cairo and Alexandria.

“Areas of particular concern,” said the embassy, “are public squares such as Tahrir, Al-Nahda and Rabaa Al-Adawiyya in Cairo, and Sede Beshr in Alexandria.” US citizens are being told to avoid areas where large gatherings may occur. “Even demonstrations or events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.” The statement suggested that Americans in Egypt should monitor the local media for information and plan their activities and movement accordingly.

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