Fresh Clashes Between Egypt Security Forces, Pro-Morsi Protesters Loom

Fresh clashes between Egypt security forces, pro-Morsi protesters loom (CBS News, Aug 11, 2013):

Supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi fortified their two Cairo sit-in sites as Egyptian security officials said their forces will move against the entrenched protest camps within 24 hours — perhaps as early as daybreak Monday.At the main sit-in, vendors said they have sold hundreds of gas masks, goggles and gloves to protesters readying for police tear gas. Three waist-high barriers of concrete and wood have been built against armored vehicles.

CBS News correspondent Clarissa Ward reports that security officials plan on setting up cordons around the sites so people to leave the protests, but will prohibit anyone else from entering the area.

The Arab world’s most populous country, where more than 250 people have been killed in clashes since Morsi was toppled July 3, braced for more violence as the four-day Muslim Eid celebrations wrapped up Sunday to end the holy month of Ramadan.

The Interior Ministry has said it would take gradual measures, issuing warnings in recent weeks and saying it would use water cannons and tear gas to minimize casualties.

Interior Ministry officials, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss details of the security plans, said they are prepared for clashes that might be set off by the cordons. The officials said police are working with the Health Ministry to ensure ambulances are on hand for the wounded and that armored police vans are nearby to take away those arrested.

A special force within the Interior Ministry’s riot police that are trained for crowd dispersal will deal with protesters. In the past, however, Egypt’s riot police, many of whom lack the training to deal with unarmed civilians, resorted to using lethal force.

There was no immediate government confirmation of when forces would move in on the sit-ins.

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