Naharnet

Egypt Police Clash with Protesters in Tahrir Square

Tens were wounded when Egyptian police fired rubber bullets and tear gas in clashes with protesters on Saturday as they broke up a sit-in organized by people injured during the Arab Spring, triggering a heated skirmish.

"Down with Tantawi," protesters cried, referring to the country's military ruler Hussein Tantawi, as they lobbed rocks and whatever they could towards policemen who responded with heavy volleys of rubber bullets.

The official MENA news agency reported that police moved into Tahrir Square in the morning to disperse the demonstrators, who included relatives of victims of the revolt that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak in February.

An Agence France Presse correspondent reported clashes later between riot police and roughly 200 protesters.

The demonstrators took over one police truck, the correspondent reported.

Earlier, a security official said police arrested several protesters and dozens of people were lightly wounded in the clashes.

Organizers of the sit-in, which had gone for several days, had called for speedy trials of policemen and officials accused of involvement in the deadly crackdowns during the 18-day revolt that ousted Mubarak.

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 killed during the uprising.

The sit-in had been joined by some of the tens of thousands of protesters who flooded the square on Friday to demand a quick transition to civilian rule.

Friday's demonstration, which was spearheaded by Islamist groups, also called on the military-appointed cabinet to withdraw a constitutional draft that would prevent parliamentary scrutiny of the defense budget.

The military, in charge since Mubarak's resignation on February 11, says it will hand over power after a yet unscheduled presidential election.

Parliamentary polls are to start on November 28.

Source: Agence France Presse


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