Egypt police expected to besiege Mursi sit-ins soon
CAIRO (AP) - Supporters of Egypt's ousted president have dug in at their two Cairo sit-ins after security officials said police would besiege the entrenched protest camps within 24 hours - perhaps as early as Monday morning.
The development sets the stage for a possible confrontation between the military-backed government and the thousands gathered at the protest sites in support of ex-President Mohammed Mursi.
The protesters have said they will not leave until Mursi, ousted in a popularly supported coup on July 3, is reinstated.
Weeks of efforts by the international community to end the standoff and find a peaceful resolution have so far failed. Egypt's interim prime minister warned just ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday that ended on Sunday that the government's decision to clear the sit-ins was "irreversible." Egypt's new leadership says the protests have frightened residents of Cairo, sparked deadly violence and disrupted traffic. Leaders of the sit-in say they have been peaceful and blame security forces and "thugs" for violence. More than 250 people have killed in violence since Morsi's ouster.