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Cairo - Egypt has set up a vast security plan for United States President Barack Obama's visit to Cairo this week, posting police on every corner of his route and rounding up hundreds of students for questioning.
"It's a massive security operation, the biggest we have seen yet," a security official said ahead of Obama's much-anticipated visit on Thursday to make a speech to the world's 1.5 billion Muslims.
Obama is to meet President Hosni Mubarak at the presidential palace in northern Cairo before travelling to Cairo University through the usually gridlocked streets that will be cleared for his convoy, the official said.
"All the routes and locations the presidents will use have already been checked and secured," the security official said.
"American security services have arrived in Egypt and have secured the route that the president will take, street by street, no corner is being left out," the official said. "There will be security members on roofs, in houses, everywhere."
The plan will see a huge deployment of agents from Egypt's various security branches as well as American security services.
Ahead of the visit, Egyptian security forces have rounded up hundreds of students at Cairo's Al-Azhar University, an ancient hub of Islamic scholarship that is co-hosting Obama's visit.
"Security forces questioned around 300 foreign students at Al-Azhar last week for extra security checks ahead of Obama's visit," another security official said.
Russia's foreign ministry said on Friday that more than 30 Russian students had been arrested in Cairo alongside nationals from Britain, Denmark, France, Tadjikistan and Uzbekistan last week.
Egyptian security forces broke into the students' dormitories at Al-Azhar and took them to an undisclosed location, the ministry said. - AFP