CAIRO | Egyptian authorities lifted Saturday some tight security measures in the capital, Cairo, a day after they sealed off the main square and downtown thoroughfares to thwart a possible protest against the country’s president.
The measures were part of a harsh security clampdown following rare demonstrations in several cities last weekend, all of which were broken up by police.
Calls for fresh protests on Friday were largely stifled by the deployment of thousands of police in Cairo’s streets, but there was a small protest of at least three dozen people on el-Waraq island at the northern fringes of the capital, which was quickly dispersed, according to three witnesses who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.
Security personnel were visible in Cairo’s main streets and squares on Saturday but did not prevent normal traffic as in the past days. Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the pro-democracy uprising in 2011 that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak, was reopened, as were subway stations in the area that had been closed the day before.