Alwaght- Thousands of people marched in central Cairo and several other Egyptian cities late on Friday to protest against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and call for his resignation.
Videos posted on social media showed demonstrators chanting "rise up, fear not, Sisi must go" and "the people demand the regime's fall."
Protests have become very rare in Egypt following a broad crackdown on dissent under Sisi, who took power after the overthrow of the former Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in 2013 following mass protests against his rule.
Security forces moved to disperse the small and scattered crowds in Cairo using tear gas but many young people stayed on the streets in the center of the capital, shouting “Leave Sisi,” Reuters reported, adding Police arrested some of the demonstrators.
Small protests were also held in Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast, Suez on the Red Sea as well as the Nile Delta textile town of Mahalla el-Kubra, about 110 km (68 miles) north of Cairo, according to residents and videos posted online.
There was a heavy security presence in downtown Cairo and on Tahrir Square where mass protests started in 2011 which toppled former dictator Hosni Mubarak.
Mohamed Ali, a building contractor and actor turned political activist who lives in Spain, called in a series of videos for the protest after accusing Sisi and the military of corruption.
"If el-Sisi does not announce his resignation by Thursday, then the Egyptian people will come out to the squares on Friday in protest," Ali said on Tuesday.
Ali first began posting his videos on September 2. His latest videos have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times and has turned him into a public figure in his homeland.
Last Saturday, Sisi dismissed the revelation as “lies and slander”.
Since el-Sisi came to power, economic austerity measures have been introduced, helping to reboot an economy battered by the 2011 Arab Spring. But the poverty rate has soared.
According to official statistics, released in July, one in three Egyptians lives in poverty.
Human Rights Watch has said that since el-Sisi secured a second term in 2018, "his security forces have escalated a campaign of intimidation, violence, and arbitrary arrests against political opponents, activists."
United Nations experts have previously stated their "grave concern" over a widening "assault on freedom of expression" in Egypt, which includes blocking scores of news websites and the unlawful detention of journalists and dissidents.