Anti-government protests hit Giza as Egyptians demand removal of President

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Dozens of anti-government protesters took to the streets in the Egyptian governorate of Giza on Sunday, despite heightened security in the country in advance of anticipated demonstrations.

Video clips circulating on social media showed the demonstrators holding banners and chanting slogans calling on Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi to step down.

Others set a police car on fire while some threw stones at security forces who tried to stop them.

Egypt went into high alert after former army contractor Mohamed Ali called for anti-government protests on September 20 to commemorate a year since similar demonstrations were launched in the country.

In a rare show of dissent, thousands of people rallied in cities across Egypt in September last year, demanding the resignation of el-Sisi following a call for protests by Ali, also an actor and businessman who said his company used to carry out projects for the Egyptian military.

In response, authorities launched the “biggest crackdown” under el-Sisi’s rule, according to Amnesty International, rounding up more than 2,300 people.

Security services pre-empted Sunday’s protests by launching a campaign of arrests that included political figures, including the left-wing political thinker Amin al-Mahdi, and a number of activists, especially in the eastern city of Suez.

Several social media users also reported cafes being forced to close over the past week.

In addition to the government crackdown on opposition figures and activists, pro-government media called people who planned to demonstrate part of an external conspiracy aimed at overthrowing the government.

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