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News, November 2011
2 Killed, Over 600 Wounded in Egypt Street Protests
Clashes continue between protestors, police after two deaths in Egypt
CAIRO, Nov. 20, 2011 (Xinhua) --
Clashes continued early Sunday morning between the security forces and protestors in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, after two died from shots and nearly 1,000 were injured in similar clashes across the country.
Dozens of protestors tried to storm into the Interior Ministry building near the Tahrir Square in central Cairo, but were stopped by riot police stationed around the building. Security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowd of protestors.
All shops near the square have been closed.
A 23-year-old protestor in Cairo and another 16-year-old boy in Alexandria, Egypt's second largest city, were shot dead on Saturday, health ministry officials said.
Other cities like Suez also witnessed similar clashes.
The latest round of clashes broke out on Saturday in Cairo after military police tried to clear the Tahrir Square as dozens of protestors continued their sit-in after Friday's mass protest with the participation of tens of thousands. Police vans were set on fire, and protestors threw stones at them.
On Sunday, the Egyptian government held an emergency meeting under Prime Minister Essam Sharaf to assess the current situation in the country. The meeting focused on the means of restoring security and stability of Egypt's streets and the measures to secure the polling stations of the first stage of the parliamentary elections due to start on Nov. 28.
The military council has stressed in a statement issued on Sunday that the parliamentary elections will be held as planned.
2 Killed, Over 600 Wounded in Egypt Street Protests
Ma'an, 20/11/2011 09:33 Egyptian soldiers (AFP/Khaled Desouki, File) CAIRO (Reuters) --
Clashes erupted between protesters and police in Cairo and two other
Egyptian cities, killing two people and wounding hundreds in the biggest
security challenge yet for the country's ruling generals days before
Protests escalate in Egypt
Tensions remain high in Egypt Sunday, after police used tear gas and rubber bullets on thousands of protesters demonstrating against military rule in Tahrir Square and other flashpoints around the country overnight.
AFP - Several hundred Egyptians occupied Cairo's Tahrir Square on Sunday, following a night of deadly clashes that signalled the start of a violent countdown to the first polls since Hosni Mubarak's ouster.
Fresh clashes broke out on the outskirts of the square, as anti-riot police fired regular rounds of tear gas and dozens of protesters set up barricades on the edges of the plaza.
Protesters streamed into Tahrir on Sunday morning and two large marches were planned into the square, in scenes reminiscent of the 18 days of protests that toppled Mubarak last winter.
Overnight, clashes between protesters and police left two people dead and hundreds injured.
In makeshift hospitals set up in mosques around Tahrir Square, demonstrators were receiving treatment for tear gas inhalation, and injuries from rubber bullets and birdshot.
In the square, protesters chanted against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which took power when Mubarak was toppled by a popular uprising, and demanded the downfall of Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi, Mubarak's longtime defence minister who now heads the military junta.
The overnight protests saw the return of the anti-riot police, the branch of the interior ministry most used by the Mubarak regime in its crackdown against protesters.
"Down with Tantawi," hundreds of demonstrators had cried in Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square on Saturday, as they lobbed rocks and other objects towards armed police.
Medics announced the deaths of Ahmed Mahmoud, 23, who sustained a bullet wound to the chest in Cairo, and Baha Eddin Mohamed Hussein, 25, hit by a rubber bullet in Alexandria as the protests spread from the capital.
The clashes began Saturday in Tahrir Square, as police fired tear gas as well as rubber bullets to break up a lengthy sit-in organised by some of the driving forces behind the Arab Spring revolt that ousted Mubarak in February.
The sit-in was joined by some of the tens of thousands of protesters who had flooded the square on Friday to demand a quick transition to civilian rule and an end to Tantawi's military council, which replaced the Mubarak regime.
Police had seized the square, only to be beaten back by protesters who triumphantly retook it on Saturday evening chanting "The people want to topple the field marshal", Tantawi.
One of the protesters, Ali Abdel Aziz, said security forces beat up people indiscriminately.
"They beat us harshly, they didn't care for either men or women. The interior ministry must take responsibility. We have one demand, the military council must go," said the 32-year-old accountancy professor.
Protesters fear a potential return to power by members of Mubarak's now-dissolved National Democratic Party.
"We didn't have a revolution so the people we removed could come back to parliament," said 30-year-old activist Ahmed Abol Enein.
"None of the revolution's demands have been met," he added.
"We need a transfer of power to civilians. Everything that is happening shows the military wants to stay in power."
The military, in charge since Mubarak's resignation on February 11, says it will hand over power after a presidential election, which has yet to be scheduled.
Parliamentary polls are to start on November 28.
The health ministry said that about 750 people were wounded in the clashes in Tahrir Square, epicentre of the 18 days of protests that ousted Mubarak, as demonstrations spread to Alexandria, Aswan and Suez.
The interior ministry said 40 police officers were among the injured this weekend.
A policeman on an armoured car shot rubber bullets into the Tahrir Square crowd, striking an AFP journalist in the forehead and shoulder, and a Western photographer in the face.
Organisers of the sit-in have called for speedy trials of policemen and officials accused of involvement in the deadly crackdown that accompanied Mubarak's abortive bid to retain his grasp on power.
Mubarak is on trial along with his former interior minister and security chiefs on charges of ordering the killings of some of the roughly 850 people who died in the uprising.
Medics on Tahrir Square told AFP they had overnight treated several people for eye injuries from rubber bullets.
Protests also took place in other cities including Aswan in the south, Alexandria and Suez on the Red Sea, where 10 people including seven demonstrators were injured, a security official said.
In Alexandria and Suez, police fired tear gas grenades to disperse the demonstrators, official news agency MENA reported.
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