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Morsi supporters protest ahead of his trial in Egypt

A woman held a portrait of Mohammed Morsi during a protest in Nasr City in Cairo Friday.

Associated Press

A woman held a portrait of Mohammed Morsi during a protest in Nasr City in Cairo Friday.

CAIRO — Thousands supporting Egypt’s ousted president marched in street protests Friday across the country, ramping up pressure on the military-backed interim government ahead of his coming trial next week.

Supporters of toppled President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo and other major cities denounced the trial, which starts Monday, as ‘‘void.’’ They instead called it a trial ‘‘of the people’s will.’’

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‘‘Stay strong, Mr. President, we are behind you with a million martyrs,’’ protesters chanted in video footage aired on the satellite news network Al-Jazeera. Military chief General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who led the July 3 coup against Morsi’s government, was the target of increasingly hostile chants, including one calling for his ‘‘execution in the square.’’

Abdel-Hamid el-Musalmani, one of the protesters, said the rallies Friday are focused on calling for the trial to be stopped.

‘‘The charges [against Morsi] are all fabricated,’’ he said.

In Egypt’s second-largest city, Alexandria, police fired tear gas to break up clashes between Morsi supporters and neighborhood residents who oppose his Muslim Brotherhood group.

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