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Afternoon prayers at Tahrir Square as security stepped up ahead of election result

posted 24 Jun 2012, 06:45 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 24 Jun 2012, 06:45 ]

Morsy supporters conduct afternoon prayers in Tahrir Square as security is stepped up outside Cairo's Ministry of Information where historic presidential election results are due to be announced.

CAIRO, EGYPT (JUNE 24, 2012) (REUTERS) - Hundreds of anti-military demonstrators took part in afternoon prayers on Sunday (June 24) in Cairo's Tahrir Square, as Egypt's ruling armed forces were on alert as fears of violence mounted in the final hours before the state election committee is to name the winner of last weekend's presidential election at 3 p.m. (1300 GMT).

Mohamed Morsy of the long-oppressed Muslim Brotherhood has already claimed to be the successor to the ousted Hosni Mubarak.

Millions of his Islamist loyalists may react with fury if the run-off goes to Ahmed Shafik, a former general and Mubarak ally.

Few troops were on the streets but security officials said they were ready to respond to trouble. Government workers around Cairo's Tahrir Square, where thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters had gathered, were encouraged to go home for the day.

Armoured vehicles were posted in the capital at the election committee headquarters and the government information office where a news conference will end an anxious week of waiting.

The result will be historic for the Middle East, but will not end power struggles between the army, Islamists and others over Egypt's future.