Egyptian protesters cautious after clashes
Egyptian protesters Monday announced precautionary measures ahead of a massive pro-reform demonstration after overnight clashes with "outlaws" in central Cairo.
Pushing for faster changes, including trials of former regime officials, the protesters plan a one million-strong strike on Friday in Tahrir Square, the epicentre of last winter's popular revolt against former president Hosny Mubarak.
"We will secure the exits and entrances of the square starting from Thursday to prevent outlaws from infiltrating," said Mohmed Adel, a member of the protest group April 6.
"We will stop people carrying arms from enetring the square and will hand over violators to the army," he told the German Press Agency dpa.
Around 200 people were injured Sunday night in clashes between protesters staying in the square and street vendors whom they allege were thugs hired by loyalists of Mubarak to stir up trouble.
Over the past three days, protesters have started pitching tents in the square in preparation for the Friday strike dubbed the "Friday of Determination - the Poor First."
Several groups, including the April 6 Movement, have called for an open-ended strike on Friday to protest what they say are slow-paced trials of former officials charged with deadly crackdowns on protesters earlier this year.
At least 846 were killed and more than 6,000 injured during the anti-Mubarak revolt, according to a fact-finding commission.
"We will continue our sit-in until our denmands are met, mainly prosecuting Mubarak over his crimes," said Adel.
Mubarak, forced to step down in February, has been staying under detention in a hospital in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh since April.
Other demands made by the protesters include stopping civilians' trials at military tribunals and promoting social justice.
In a bid to mobilise public support, organisers of the protest started to distribute leaflets, reading: "The revolution continues. Join us in Tahrir on Friday 8."