A member of the riot police stands guard outside the high court in Cairo, Egypt, January 21, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
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Egyptian authorities have intensified a crackdown on dissent ahead of next week's anniversary of the country's 2011 Arab Spring uprising, with police checking social media accounts and raiding apartments seeking any sign of plans for organized protests.Security forces questioned residents and searched apartments at more than 5,000 homes in central Cairo as a "precautionary measure" over the past ten days, aiming to ensure Egyptians do not take to the streets, as they have so many times in the recent years, officials said Thursday.With thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members and activists in jail and many others having left country since el-Sisi led the army's 2013 overthrow of an elected but divisive Islamist president, massive demonstrations may be unlikely in the capital's greater area, home to some 20 million inhabitants.The security presence and incursions in Cairo have been greater than in previous years, when authorities also feared anniversary protests. One Facebook event page that had been calling for mass demonstrations at Cairo's central Tahrir Square – the epicenter of the 2011 revolt and subsequent protest movements – was cancelled earlier this month after more than 50,000 users said they would attend, and a similar amount expressed interest in the event.
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