A coalition of opposition groups called for a million people to take to Cairo's streets Tuesday to ratchet up pressure for President Hosni Mubarak to leave.

The coalition of groups, dominated by youth movements but including the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, said it wants the march from Tahrir, or Liberation Square, to force Mubarak to step down by Friday.

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Barbed wire sealed off the main road to Tahrir Square, a central downtown plaza that demonstrators have occupied since Friday, turning it into the national focal point of calls for the ouster of Mubarak, whom they blame for widespread poverty, inflation and official indifference and brutality during his 30 years in power.

Thousands of people had gathered into the square by early morning. Many slept sprawled on the grass or in colorful tents. Others were filtering into the square in the early morning.

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