World Bulletin/News Desk
Egyptian security forces cleared Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square in the early hours of Friday, removing tents erected by protesters and bricks used to close the flashpoint square to traffic.
Dozens of protesters and street vendors who used to camp out in the square were evicted from the area by force, eyewitnesses said.
Following the brief crackdown, security forces left the square to cleaners who swept rubble, barbed wire and bricks from the streets. The square was also opened to traffic for the day.
The head of the state-run Cairo Cleaning and Beautification Agency told reporters that the operation aimed to "restore" the square's stature following a series of recent protests.
A campaign to beautify the square would follow shortly, he said.
Cairo's Tahrir Square was the epicenter of the 2011 uprising that culminated in the ouster of longtime autocratic president Hosni Mubarak and later helped ignite the "Arab Spring" revolutions in Libya, Syria and Yemen.
The square was also the scene of mass demonstrations against president Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first-ever freely-elected head of state, which ultimately led to the latter's July 3 ouster by the country's military establishment.Last Mod: 27 Eylül 2013, 16:58