Egypt’s government faces one of its biggest tests ever after the group behind the demonstrations of the past few days − the April 6 movement − declared another “day of rage” for today following afternoon prayers in the country’s mosques.
The Muslim Brotherhood is also expected to join the anti-government protests, bringing thousands more people into the streets.
Yesterday evening, opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, who sees himself as the successor to President Hosni Mubarak, landed in Cairo.
ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, has been the only opposition leader to openly support the protests.
Egyptian security forces did not allow local or foreign press to cover ElBaradei’s arrival.
E-mails were sent out yesterday telling protesters to march but without harsh messages on their signs. They were called on to hold flowers, ask the police to join them, and take over government buildings.
The secretariat of Egypt’s ruling party called for law and order. The party had hoped that Mubarak’s son could run for president in November, but the protest has reportedly made clear that the party will lose if it fields Gamal Mubarak as its candidate.
An eyewitness in Cairo told Haaretz that although Cairo’s streets were currently quiet, many people felt they were experiencing extraordinary times. But violence, apparently the result of a thin police presence, continued in Ismaliyeh, Sheikh Zuwaid in the Sinai, and especially in Suez.
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