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Egypt marks anniversary of 1973 attack on Israel

Egypt marks anniversary of 1973 attack on Israel
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In Cairo, preparations are underway for the traditional annual celebration of Egypt’s 6th October 1973 military attack on Israel.

Tahrir Square has been closed off amid fears that violence might break out between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and the army, which ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July.

Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mansour, has called on the entire population to come out onto the streets to support the army and celebrate the 40th anniversary.

A coalition of Muslim Brotherhood supporters has also urged supporters to hit the streets, to demonstrate about what it says was a coup d’etat by the army against a legitimately-elected leader.

Clashes last Friday saw at least four fatalities and people across the country are concerned that further violence could break out.

Forty years ago, Egyptian forces crossed the Suez Canal in an attempt to push the Israelis out of the Sinai Peninsula. They were backed by the air force, led by Hosni Mubarak, who became president in 1981. Initially, they failed, with the Israeli army fighting back and coming within 100 kilometres of Cairo. But the action led to the signing of the Camp David Accords and the return of Sinai to Egypt.

This has traditionally been regarded as a golden moment for Egypt, after its defeat during the Arab-Israeli war in 1967.