Protester killed, police injured on anniversary of Egypt uprising amid rising tensions

CAIRO (Reuters) - A protester was killed in Egypt and a bomb wounded two policemen on Sunday, the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak, security sources said.

The anniversary is a test of whether Islamists and liberal activists who have faced a tough security crackdown have the resolve to challenge Egypt's US-backed government once again.

Security forces have been stamping out dissent since the army ousted president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013 after mass protests against his rule.

Dozens of protesters were killed during last year's anniversary of the revolt centred in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

The protester died on Sunday from birdshot wounds in Alexandria, Egypt's second biggest city, the security sources said. The Interior Ministry said the man had been armed.

Separately, a bomb targeted policemen stationed outside a Cairo sports club, the sources said.

In the Nile Delta region of Baheira, about 170km from Cairo, two militants were killed when bombs they were planting exploded, state television reported.

In Cairo, riot police backed by soldiers in armoured vehicles sealed off strategic roads, including ones leading to Tahrir Square.

Mursi supporters gathered near Tahrir and held up photographs of him, a Reuters witness said. Security forces rounded them up. They also used teargas to disperse a protest in Cairo's Ramses Square, officials said.

In the Cairo suburb of Matariya, security forces fired teargas as around 900 people protested.

Security forces were also dispatched to Rabaa Square in northeast Cairo, where hundreds of Mursi supporters were killed in August 2013 at a protest camp.

Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian-born cleric based in Qatar who supports the Brotherhood, called for protests and said Mursi was Egypt's "legitimate" leader.

Qaradawi's outspoken support for the Islamist movement has fueled a diplomatic rift between Qatar and its Gulf Arab allies, which like Cairo consider the Islamist group a security threat.

A crackdown has largely ended demonstrations, but several have taken place in the past week in Cairo and Alexandria.

A woman protester was shot dead on Saturday near Tahrir.

Health Ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel Ghaffar said on Sunday Shaimaa Sabbagh was shot in the face and back. About 1,000 people marched in her funeral procession, a Reuters witness said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Hany Abdel Latif told Reuters an investigation into her death had begun, adding: "No one is above the law." In a televised address on Saturday, Sisi praised the desire for change that Egyptians showed four years ago but said it would take patience to achieve all of "the revolution's goals".

Sisi says his government is committed to democracy. Human rights groups accuse him of restoring authoritarian rule to Egypt, a strategic U.S ally with influence across the Arab world.

Opponents say new laws, including one restricting protests, have rolled back freedoms won in the uprising that ended three decades of iron-fisted rule under Mubarak.