CAIRO: Egyptian police are expected to start taking action early on Monday against supporters of ousted President Mohamed Mursi who are gathered in crowded protest camps in Cairo, security and government sources said, a move which could trigger more bloodshed.
The sites are the main flashpoints in the confrontation between the army, which toppled Mursi last month, and supporters who demand his reinstatement.
Western and Arab mediators and some senior Egyptian government officials have been trying to persuade the army to avoid using force against the protesters, who at times can number as much as tens of thousands.
“State security troops will be deployed around the sit-ins by dawn as a start of procedures that will eventually lead to a dispersal,” a senior security source said on Sunday, adding that the first step will be to surround the camps.
Army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who toppled Mursi, has come under pressure from hardline military officers to move against the protesters, security sources say.
Almost 300 people have been killed in political violence since the overthrow, including dozens of Mursi supporters shot dead by security forces in two incidents.