Ticking bomb leads to crackdown ahead of anti-regime protests
Egyptian security forces say they stopped a bomb from exploding on Thursday at a tram station in a neighbourhood of Alexandria.
"The bomb squad defused a bomb in the Muslim Youth tram station in the neighbourhood of Chatby, near Alexandria University's campus buildings," said Alexandria police chief General Sherif Abdul Hamid.
He said that the bomb appeared to be homemade. Experts reportedly found a large amount of explosives connected to a mobile phone detonator. It was ready to blow up at the university campus, officers said.
Police say they found the bomb just hours before planned protests against the government. The Friday 28 November protests are being organised by the Salafi Front, which is calling it "The Muslim Youth Uprising".
Officials in Cairo are attempting to deter Egyptians from participating in the event.
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Police are understood to have received a tip-off call from a resident who reported a suspicious device being planted at the tram station. Security forces quickly pounced on the nearby Alexandria University campus, scouring university buildings.
Heavily armed police and military troops intensified their presence in public spaces across Alexandria and Cairo, securing infrastructure facilities and police stations.
Alexandria's security directorate announced that it had established an operations room and was coordinating with the North Military Zone and navy. The officials working there will be responsible for guiding security forces around the city, and deploying rapid response forces, sources said.
Tonight, Alexandria is a city in lock-down.
This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.