The anti-government demonstrations today, dubbed “Angry Friday,” were organized largely with the help of social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. They follow three days of bloody protests in the capital of Cairo and other Egyptian cities like Suez, where demonstrators hurled Molotov cocktails and stones at police and set the town’s firehouse ablaze, according to UPI.
Bracing for more tumult, the Egyptian government blocked Internet and cellphone service early Friday to prevent anti-government activists from communicating with one another.
Protesters were told that the government was dispatching “thugs” calling themselves “Ikhwan al-Haq,” or “Brotherhood of Truth,” to patrol the streets of Cairo with knives and swords and attack or kill demonstrators if necessary, UPI reports.
Egypt’s Interior Ministry arrested hundreds of demonstrators, including a number of prominent opposition figures. The Muslim Brotherhood, which is backing the protests, told The Associated Press that at least five of its leaders and five former members of parliament had been detained.
Mubarak’s regime posted a special operations counterterrorism force in strategic positions around Cairo, including Tahrir Square.