CAIRO Ñ Arab nations are bracing for a wave of violent anti-U.S.
protests over the weekend.
The protests are expected to erupt after Friday prayers in mosques
around the Middle East. Clerics as well as Islamic organizers have called
for massive demonstrations against the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
Authorities in virtually every Middle East country, except for Iraq,
have bolstered security around U.S. installations. Many of them plan to
increase police and security forces in the streets of Arab capitals.
Egypt and Jordan are expected to be the focus of anti-U.S. protests. On
Thursday, Egyptian demonstrators clashed with police as they tried to storm
the U.S. embassy in Cairo. Police used water cannons to stop stone-throwers
from reaching the embassy in a demonstration believed organized by the
banned Muslim Brotherhood.
The Brotherhood members chanted slogans against the regime of Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak. They included "Leave, leave Mubarak" and "Down with
At one point, Egyptian students rampaged through downtown Cairo, banging
on cars and calling for revolution. Riot police used batons to beat back
many of the demonstrators.