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Egypt police break up Islamist protest in Tahrir

Supporters of ousted Mohammad Murs File-ReutersSupporters of ousted Mohammad Murs File-ReutersEgyptian security forces stormed Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Sunday after firing tear gas to disperse Islamist protesters, who entered the epicenter of the country’s previous uprisings for the first time in over a month.
 
The protesters, who have long called for the reinstatement of ousted Islamist President Mohammmd Mursi, burned a police car and clashed with security forces, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.
 
While the army’s armored vehicles were deployed in the square, police fired tear gas at the some-2,000 protesters gathered.
 
The government recently issued a controversial law banning protests held without prior police authorization. The Muslim Brotherhood and its other Islamist allies do not recognize the government and its laws.
 
But the law has led to fractures within government supporters, after a number of liberal youth activists were detained for protesting without permits.
 
On Sunday, authorities freed a prominent secular activist but extended the detention of another after the two were arrested for holding unauthorized demonstrations, Agence France-Presse reported judicial sources as saying.
 
Spearheading the revolt
 
Ahmed Maher, founder of the April 6 movement which was one of the main groups that spearheaded the revolt against Mubarak in 2011, had been released, the sources said.
 
But Alaa Abdel Fattah, another prominent secular activist who had been arrested at his home late Thursday, was being detained for another 15 days, they said.
 
Maher had turned himself in at a Cairo court on Saturday.
 
Abdel Fattah’s detention was extended because he was accused of breaking the protest law, inciting protesters to riot, and cutting of roads and beating a police officer.
 
Abdel Fattah held a demonstration against a provision in the draft constitution allowing military trials of civilians.
 
On Sunday, the 50-member panel that drafted the new charter will resume voting on the provisions concerning the military’s powers and privileges in the country.

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