CAIRO: Egyptian protesters joined hundreds already camped out in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Sunday ahead of mass nationwide rallies to demand the resignation of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.
Demonstrators streamed into the square, where tents have been pitched and anti-Morsi banners hung on walls.
In Cairo’s Nasr City neighborhood, Morsi’s supporters vowed to pursue a sit-in to defend the legitimacy of the president, who assumed power one year ago after Egypt’s first free presidential elections.
Police and troops have deployed to protect key buildings around the country, security officials said. The health ministry said hospitals have been placed on high alert.
The anti-Morsi protests were called by Tamarod, a grassroots movement that says it has collected more than 22 million signatures to a petition calling for early presidential elections.
The figure, which compares with the 13.2 million votes to 12.3 million by which Morsi won election last year, cannot be verified.
The week leading up to Sunday’s anniversary saw street violence in which eight people were killed, including an American, and scores more injured, as the two sides held rival demonstrations.