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Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood ramps up calls for large protests, security on high alert

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is ramping up calls for nationwide protests, urging people to take to the streets against the new military-backed government.

In a pre-recorded message aired late Wednesday on one of Al-Jazeera's Arabic news channels, top Brotherhood figure Essam el-Erian called on people to rise against the "failed, bloody military regime."

The Interior Ministry says its police forces are on high alert in preparation for the protests, which have turned deadly.

How people respond to calls for Friday protests and sit-ins will test whether the Brotherhood can still mobilize its base amid a fierce security crackdown against the group.

Hundreds of Brotherhood members have been killed and arrested since the July 3 coup that ousted President Mohammed Morsi, a longtime leader in the Islamist group.