Sunday, November 20, 2011
Two killed, 676 wounded in clashes with police in Egypt
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 scheduled elections.
Hundreds of youths chanted "The people want to topple the regime" in central Cairo on Saturday as they rushed toward riot police, who fired rubber bullets and tear gas.Witnesses said the clashes appeared to have subsided early on Sunday.
During Saturday's clashes, protesters broke chunks of cement from pavements and hurled them at police, who lost control of Cairo's landmark Tahrir Square twice in the day.
A blaze broke out around midnight at the huge Mogamma state administration building overlooking Tahrir.
As police fired round after round of tear gas at protesters near the interior ministry, closer to Tahrir demonstrators laid sheets of metal to block roads into the square.
"I tell you do not leave the square. This square will lead the way from now on," presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, a hardline Islamist, told a group of protesters early on Sunday. "Tomorrow the whole of Egypt will follow your lead."
State news agency MENA quoted the health ministry's spokesman as saying 676 people had been hurt in Cairo and that Ahmed Mahmoud, a 23-year-old demonstrator, died in hospital. MENA reported another death in Egypt's second city Alexandria.