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Egypt shuts off Internet, cellphones as country braces for ‘Angry Friday’ protests

January 28, 2011 Comments off

Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, January 28, 2011; 4:59 AM

 

CAIRO – The streets of Egypt were tense Friday morning as the country braced for major protests, with the government preemptively disrupting communications networks and vowing to crack down on demonstrators.

Police in full riot gear lined major public squares and other critical intersections in this teeming capital city. Overnight, security services raided the homes of opposition leaders — including those of the Muslim Brotherhood — and arrested dozens. Meanwhile, Internet connections and mobile phone networks were down in Cairo and in other major cities.

Protest organizers have called for Egyptians to demonstrate against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak following noontime prayers on Friday, in defiance of a government ban.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest opposition group, which has largely been absent from the protests that have roiled the nation this week, has said it will fully participate in Friday’s demonstrations, potentially drawing many more people to the streets. Read more…