A bomb wounded two Egyptian policemen in Cairo on Sunday and security forces moved quickly to disperse small protests on the anniversary of the popular uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, officials said.
The blast targeted policemen stationed outside a sports club in Cairo’s Heliopolis area, the security sources said.
Supporters of deposed president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood gathered near Tahrir Square — symbolic heart of the 201 revolt — and held up photographs of him, a Reuters witness said. Security forces rounded them up. They also used teargas to disperse a protest in Cairo’s Ramses Square, officials said.
Tensions have been rising in Egypt. A woman protester was shot dead on Saturday near Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the symbolic heart of the revolt that ended Mubarak’s 30 years of rule. Dozens of protesters were killed during last year’s anniversary.
State news agency MENA said 22 armoured vehicles were parked around Tahrir Square and roads to the square were sealed off.
Security forces were also dispatched to Rabaa Square in northeast Cairo, where hundreds of Mursi supporters were killed in August 2013, one month after the army toppled him.
Mursi and other Brotherhood leaders are standing trial on a range of charges, from inciting violence to conspiring with the Palestinian militant group Hamas against Egypt. They deny the charges.
Although a security crackdown has virtually ended street demonstrations, several took place this week in Cairo and Egypt’s second city, Alexandria.
In a televised address on Saturday, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi praised the desire for change Egyptians showed four years ago but said it would take patience to achieve all of “the revolution’s goals”.
Sisi announced a roadmap to democracy after toppling Mursi when mass protests against his rule erupted, and the government says it is committed to democracy. But human rights groups accuse the former military intelligence chief under Mubarak of restoring authoritarian rule to the most populous Arab state.
Opponents say new laws, including one restricting protests, have rolled back freedoms won in the uprising, when hundreds died as security forces clashed with protesters. Islamists and liberal activists, including many who supported removing Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood, have been jailed.
An Egyptian court ordered the release of Mubarak’s sons Alaa and Gamal on Thursday pending a retrial in a corruption case. In November, a court dropped charges against Mubarak of conspiring to kill protesters in the uprising.