Cairo: Egyptian jetfighters staged celebratory flights over Cairo today, ushering in a commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the nation's last war with Israel on a day when rival rallies by supporters and opponents of the ousted Islamist president carry the potential for violence.
Security forces have been deployed across much of the Egyptian capital in anticipation of clashes, with thousands of troops and police manning checkpoints.
Oct. 6 has long been a major national holiday but the streets of Cairo, a city of 18 million, were uncharacteristically empty by late morning as many residents stayed home to avoid being caught up in possible clashes. Only the scream of some two dozen, low-flying F-16s that rattled the city broke the quiet.
Sunday's rallies in Tahrir Square, birthplace of the 2011 uprising against autocrat Hosni Mubarak, are likely flashpoints. Authorities have vowed not to allow supporters of the ousted president Mohammed Morsi into the square and police and troops have erected barricades at all entrances to the sprawling plaza in the heart of the city.