January 28, 2011 7:23 a.m. EST
Cairo, Egypt (CNN) -- Police fired tear gas into crowds as violent clashes between authorities and anti-government protesters erupted Friday in the Egyptian cities of Cairo and Alexandria.
At least 1,000 protesters gathered in Alexandria, and youths hurled rocks through black clouds of gas. Crowds ran through the streets toward the city's central square.
In Cairo, police were out in force on the streets as the country's largest opposition bloc continued to calls for protests.
Vans packed with riot police patrolled Cairo before the scheduled beginning of prayers Friday afternoon. The Muslim Brotherhood -- Egypt's largest opposition bloc -- called for its followers to demonstrate after the weekly prayers, the first time in the latest wave of unrest that the group has told supporters to take to the streets.
Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei arrived in Cairo on Thursday and said he planned to take part in the protests. Police warned the Nobel Peace Prize winner Friday not to leave a mosque near downtown Cairo, a security source told CNN.
In Jordan, meanwhile, about 1,500 protesters amassed in downtown Amman and hundreds of others turned out in other cities, witnesses said.
Hours ahead of the anti-government protests, the internet went dark in parts of Egypt. Some text messaging and cell phone services appeared to be blocked.
Servers of Egypt's main internet provider were down early Friday, according to multiple services that check whether servers used by specific sites are active.
Servers for the Egyptian government's sites and for the U.S. Embassy in Cairo also appeared to be down. But at least one internet service provider, Noor, was still working.
"We are closely monitoring the situation and are aware that communication services, including social media, are being blocked," U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Thursday. "We continue to urge Egyptian authorities to show restraint and allow peaceful protests to occur."
With more protests looming, some government critics voiced their opinions on a state-run television network.
A popular morning show on the state-run Egyptian Satellite station included comments from guests calling for the resignation of government officials and increased dialogue between authorities and arrested protesters. The network showed images of damage and reported that about 90 people were injured in protests in Suez Thursday.
Egypt's Interior Ministry said Thursday that no protests would be permitted on Friday, but some Egyptians were going door to door in Cairo, urging their neighbors to participate.
Authorities arrested a prominent Muslim Brotherhood leader early Friday, detaining the party's main speaker, Issam al-Aryan, according to a relative.
Police came to al-Aryan's Cairo home at 2:30 a.m. local time, his son-in-law said.
Opposition leader ElBaradei said people have taken to the streets because they "realize the regime is not listening, not acting."
"The barrier of fear is broken," he said Thursday. "And it will not come back."
He called for demonstrations to be peaceful and for the government of President Hosni Mubarak to stop detaining and torturing people. He said that a violent response from the government is "counterproductive" and that the regime should promote democracy and social justice.
"I am asking the regime to listen to the people before it is too late," the opposition leader said.
A Facebook page devoted to Friday's planned protests had more than 80,000 followers as Thursday afternoon, compared with 20,000 the previous day.
The outpouring of protests has led to unprecedented violence this week. At least six have died in the demonstrations so far, according to the Interior Ministry.
Video from Sinai on Thursday showed a protester being shot after the protester picks up a rock.
Police turned water cannons and tear gas on protesters Wednesday to break up anti-government demonstrations as the Interior Ministry warned it "will not allow any provocative movement or a protest or rallies or demonstrations."
In the heart of Cairo Wednesday, people were beaten with sticks and fists, and demonstrators were dragged away amid tear gas. Witnesses saw security forces harassing journalists and photographers. Demonstrations continued into the nighttime hours.
In Suez, state-run Nile News TV reported that at least 27 people were wounded in violent clashes between security forces and protesters Wednesday night. The Muslim Brotherhood had a higher number -- it said 35 people were injured in the city.
Families and friends of three people slain in Suez this week said angry demonstrations occurred because police didn't hand over the bodies of those killed.
U.S. President Barack Obama urged the government and demonstrators to refrain from violence as protests continued.
"It is very important that people have mechanisms in order to express legitimate grievances," he said.
In: News, Middle East
Tags: cairo, egypt, anti-government, protesters, police, riots, clash, tear gas, muslim brotherhood, jordan, anman, suez
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