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Dozens dead on Egypt uprising anniversary

Dozens of people are dead following weekend violence marking the third anniversary of Egypt's popular uprising, according to the health ministry. Meanwhile, a number of soldiers have been killed in the Sinai Peninsula.

The death toll from the weekend clashes has risen to 49, the Egyptian health ministry said on Sunday. The interior ministry said separately that more than 1,000 people had been arrested over the past day.

Security forces battled opponents of the army-backed government which deposed Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in July after just one year in power.

The violence over the weekend

marked three years since the start of the popular revolt that forced the long-serving autocrat Hosni Mubarak to quit.

On Saturday, thousands of pro-military demonstrators marched on Cairo's Tahrir Square, the birthplace of the 2011 uprising, calling on

General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi

to run for president [seen above]. At the same time, a mix of Muslim Brotherhood Islamists and secular liberals tried to hold counter-demonstrations against the government.

Security forces across Cairo moved quickly to disperse the pro-Morsi protests while welcoming demonstrators to sanctioned commemorations. In Cairo's Muhandiseen district, police fired teargas and birdshot at anti-government protesters outside a mosque.

The violence is a continuation of a crackdown by security forces on Islamist protesters since last July, when General el-Sissi launched a military coup in response to ongoing anti-Islamist demonstrations. El-Sissi overthrew Morsi, an Islamist and Egypt's first democratically elected president, and installed an interim government.

Since then, at least 1,000 people have been killed and thousands of Islamists arrested, including most top leaders of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement, and Morsi himself. The group was recently designated as a terrorist organization.

Soldiers killed in Sinai Peninsula attack

A state-run Egyptian newspaper reported at least two soldiers killed on Sunday during an attack on the restive Sinai Peninsula. At least 14 soldiers were wounded in the assault, which targeted a security checkpoint, al-Ahram said in its online edition.

Other sources in Egypt said the attack happened when militants targeted a military bus.

That came a day after a car bomb exploded near a police camp in the city of Suez, as well as the crash of a military helicopter in Sinai, which killed its five-member crew. The military said it was investigating the cause of the crash.

On Friday, six people were killed in

a series of bombings

on security facilities in Cairo.

jr/tj (AP, Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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