ISSN 2330-717X

Egypt Shuts Down Internet Ahead Of Friday Protests

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Egypt’s interior ministry warned of “decisive measures” as dissidents planned to rally after Friday noon prayers for a fourth day in a row in the country’s most serious anti-government protests in decades, reports AFP.

According to AFP reports, the warning came as Internet services and cell phone text messaging, both used by organizers of this week’s protests that led to deadly clashes between police and demonstrators, were cut across the country.

This latest news comes on the heels of comments made by US Vice President Joe Biden late Thursday that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is an ally, however he asked him to be more responsive to the needs of the Egyptian people.

KUNA reports that Biden said late Thursday, in an exclusive interview with PBS NewsHour, that he knows Mubarak “fairly well,” adding that the time “has come for Mubarak to begin to move in the direction of being more responsive to some of the needs of the people out there.”

According to that same KUNA article, Biden did not see “any direct relationship” linking protests in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen “other than it might be argued that what is happening in one country sparks whatever concern there is another country.”

Biden noted that the Egyptian President “has been an ally of ours in a number of things. And he has been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interest in the region, the Middle East peace efforts; the actions Egypt has taken relative to normalizing relationship with Israel. I would not refer to him as a dictator.”

“We are encouraging protestors to do it peacefully. And we are encouraging the government to act responsibly and to try to engage in a discussion as to what the legitimate claims being made are, if they are, and try to work them out,” he added, according to KUNA.

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