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Egyptian police back on the streets

  |   Jan. 31, 2011 at 2:28 PM
VIDEO: General strike in Cairo
VIDEO: General strike in Cairo
CAIRO, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Egyptian police returned to the streets Monday as opposition groups said they are preparing for their largest anti-government demonstrations yet.

Egyptians stormed the streets of Suez, Alexandria and Cairo last week calling on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to stand down after more than 30 years in power.

The Arab community is experiencing widespread unrest after a December protest suicide in Tunisia sparked a revolution that brought down the government.

Mubarak last week called on the nation's military to take over patrolling the demonstrations though police were reportedly back on the street Monday, al-Jazeera reports.

An opposition group calling itself the April 6 Movement announced plans to get more than 1 million demonstrators on the streets by Tuesday as pressure on Mubarak grows.

Mubarak last week said he was making reforms in his government and Monday swore in a new Cabinet. Protesters, however, maintain they want to see the president leave office.

Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei resurfaced on the streets during the weekend after his apparent house arrest Thursday. More than 30 top leaders in the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition group, left their prison cells after guards left their posts, al-Jazeera adds.

The U.S. and British governments Monday began evacuating their citizens as the situation intensified. While both governments haven't explicitly said it was time for Mubarak to go, official statements called for peaceful reform.

Parliamentary elections in November were criticized internationally after Mubarak's National Democratic Party eliminated much of the opposition from government.

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