Egypt to act against pro-Morsi protesters

Egyptians who support deposed President Mohamed Morsi may find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

An Egyptian man, supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi kisses a poster of him as worshipers gather for prayer outside Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque on 11 July, 2013. Picture:AFP

CAIRO - Egyptian police are expected to start taking action early on Monday against supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi who are gathered in protest camps in Cairo, security and government sources said on Sunday, a move which could trigger more bloodshed.

The camps are the main flashpoints in the confrontation between the army, which toppled Morsi in July, and supporters who demand his reinstatement.

Western and Arab mediators and some members of the Egyptian government have been trying to persuade the army to avoid using force to disperse the protesters, who at times can number as much as tens of thousands.

Any further violence would almost certainly deepen Egypt's political crisis and keep the government from dealing with vital issues such as the fragile economy.

"State security troops will be deployed around the sit-ins by dawn as a start of procedures that will eventually lead to a dispersal," said a senior security source, adding that the first step will be to surround the camps.

Another security source said the decision to take action, just after celebrations following the holy month of Ramadan, came after a meeting between the interior minister and his aides.