Islamists urge protesters to avoid Cairo's Tahrir

CAIRO (AFP) - An Islamist alliance urged its supporters to stay away from Cairo's Tahrir Square during protests on Friday to avoid more bloodshed after a week in which nearly 80 Egyptians were killed.

The Anti-Coup Alliance, which rejects Egypt's military-installed government, said the "coup regime is shedding blood without any respect to law or values adopted by our great people".

"So the alliance is calling for marchers to evade places of bloodshed, be it Tahrir or other squares," said a statement from the group which demands the reinstatement of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi.

It said its appeal follows calls made by several intellectuals and political forces as marches to the iconic square "will lead to more bloodshed".

The alliance had repeatedly called on its supporters to march on Friday towards Tahrir, the main symbol of the Arab Spring-inspired uprising that toppled former strongman Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

"We are just limiting our marches" on Friday, the alliance said, adding it "preserves the right to protest in all squares including Tahrir, Rabaa and Nahda in the coming weeks".

Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya and Nahda squares were sites of a brutal crackdown by security forces on Mursi's supporters on August 14. Hundreds of people were killed in some of the worst carnage in Egypt's modern history.