Police reportedly arrested more than 200 people.

Pro-reform activists are calling for constitutional and political reforms in the country and have stepped up their campaign in recent weeks.

Many are demanding President Mubarak step down when his mandate expires later this year.

Hundreds gathered in the town of Fayyum as well as in Mansura and Zagazig in the Nile Delta region in a day of coordinated rallies across the country.

The opposition Muslim Brotherhood said police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds and detained around 100 protesters in Fayyum and another 100 in Zagazig.

However interior ministry sources said police detained 80 protesters in Mansura, 100 in Zagazig and 30 in Fayyum.

The Brotherhood also reported demonstrations in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, Tanta, and Damanhur in the Delta region and in the capital, Cairo.

In Cairo, around 1,000 protesters gathered outside the Fatteh Mosque.

“No to dictatorship,” chanted the group.

“No to cosmetic reforms, yes to real reforms,” they shouted as thousands of baton-wielding and shield-carrying security forces sealed off the area to prevent trouble.

The protesters also denounced the state-owned media as “corrupt” and called for the cessation of emergency laws that have been in place since the 1981 assassination of president Anwar Sadat.

The proposed constitutional amendments are due to be voted on next week in parliament, however MPs from Mr Mubarak’s National Democratic Party hope to impose strict conditions on candidates which the opposition rejects.

The president has not yet announced whether he intends to seek another term.

Earlier this year, he announced that rival candidates would for the first time be able to stand in a presidential election due next September.

Previously, voters were only given the opportunity to accept or reject a single candidate nominated by parliament, which is overwhelmingly dominated by Mr Mubarak’s party.