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Muslim Brotherhood homes raided ahead of protests

CAIRO (AP) -- Egyptian authorities raided the homes of Muslim Brotherhood members Sunday in an apparent attempt to disrupt the group ahead of planned mass rallies by supporters of country's ousted president.

Under the banner of an anti-coup alliance, the Brotherhood said it will hold a demonstration in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court in southern Cairo later Sunday. Authorities already stationed armored vehicles and troops at the building, which could turn into another focal point of street violence.

Rallies also are planned across the country by supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, deposed in a July 3 coup.

More than 800 people have been killed nationwide since Wednesday's dismantling of two encampments of Morsi supporters in Cairo - an act that sparked fierce clashes.

In an attempt to cripple the Brotherhood's protest plans, authorities carried out sweeping raids early Sunday morning, detaining mid-level officials and field operatives in several cities, according to security officials and group statements.

In Assiut, 320 kilometers (200 miles) south of Cairo, 163 of the group's officials and operatives were rounded up in different towns in the province, security officials said. They said those arrested face charges of instigating violence and orchestrating attacks on police stations and churches.

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