Demonstrators on Cairo’s Tahrir Square held Coptic Christian and Muslim prayers for the 300 people who have died in protests against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, as banks reopened and the army reinforced its presence.
Banks reopened, causing queues for cash withdrawals, and traffic reappeared on the capital’s streets on the 13th day of protests. The central bank has limited daily personal cash withdrawals to 50,000 Egypitian pounds (7,000 euros) in an attempt to avoid a run on the banks.
The military took up positions on 6 October bridge, which was the scene of clashes between pro-Mubarak and anti-Mubarak demonstrators during the week. Soldiers were deployed at the entrance to the square and near the Egyptian Museum, although barricades erected by the anti-Mubarak camp remained in place.
Police, who vanished from the streets after becoming a focus of protesters’ anger, have also reappeared.
Despite poor weather and signs of protest fatigue, thousands of people remain on the square.
A Coptic priest and Muslim sheikh stood together to commemorate the dead, as the crowd shouted “a single hand, a single hand” to show interfaith solidarity. Prayers of both faiths followed.
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