Thursday, January 27, 2011

Egypt: Internet down, police counterterror unit up

By HAMZA HENDAWI and SARAH EL DEEB, Associated Press Hamza Hendawi And Sarah El Deeb, Associated Press 18 mins ago

CAIRO – Egypt's government has disrupted Internet service and deployed an elite special operations counterterrorism force hours before anti-government protesters expect a new wave of mass rallies to begin.

The police counterterrorism force is rarely seen on the streets. Its officers took up positions early Friday in strategic locations in Cairo, including central Tahrir Square, site of the biggest demonstrations earlier this week.

This week's grass-roots protest movement in Egypt has been fueled by traffic on social networking sites, but Internet outages have become widespread. A major service provider for Egypt, Italy-based Seabone, reported early Friday that there was no Internet traffic going into or out of the country after 12:30 a.m. local time.

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