Police and soldiers clamped a tight security lid on sensitive sites in the capital and elsewhere on Thursday, the one-year anniversary of the overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. Scattered clashes between protesters and security forces left at least one demonstrator dead, state media reported.
Two other people were reported to have been killed in the town of Kerdasa, a few miles outside Cairo, near the Pyramids. Both were suspected militants who were apparently preparing a homemade bomb that went off prematurely, officials said.
Several other crude explosive devices went off or were defused in and around the capital and the coastal city of Alexandria, but no injuries or deaths were reported.
Supporters of Morsi had hoped to challenge security forces with a show of strength, calling on followers to take to the streets en masse on the anniversary. But the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi’s movement, has been decimated by a months-long crackdown that has left thousands of its backers in jail or dead. Morsi himself is on trial for a number of capital offenses.
Armored personnel carriers sealed off sites including Tahrir Square, which was ground zero for the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocratic President Hosni Mubarak and the venue for many mass gatherings since then.
Access was also blocked to the scene of what was the worst violence in the wake of Morsi’s ouster -- Rabaa al-Adawiya Square, where hundreds were killed in mid-August of last year when security forces moved in and broke up a pro-Morsi protest camp.
Hassan is a special correspondent.
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