The protests began amid heightened security in major towns and cities including the national capital Cairo, Alexandria, Giza, Menuofia and Dakahlia governerate in the Nile delta after Friday prayers. Protesters also rallied in Shoubra al-Kheima in Qalyobua governerate, the home town of Morsi.

All roads leading to Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, where security forces forcibly dispersed pro-Morsi protesters on August 14, were shut, a state-run news agency reported. Roads leading to central Cairo's Tahrir Square, defence ministry and around al-Azbakia police station were also closed.

Riot police were deployed at al-Qaed Ibrahim mosque in Alexandria as well as al-Iman mosque in Cairo ahead of the demonstrations. The Brotherhood's call for mass protests Friday would test the group's mobilizing strength after the security crackdown on the sit-ins held by the Islamists demanding Morsi's reinstatement earlier this month.

Earlier in a statement on Thursday, the Interior Ministry said that the acts that threaten national security would be dealt with ‘firmness’ and that the police had orders to use deadly force in defence of public and private property.

(Agencies)

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