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November 20, 2011

Egypt's Cabinet Resigns Amid Deadly Clashes

Egypt's state television says the Cabinet has submitted its resignation to the ruling military council amid days of deadly clashes between police and pro-democracy protesters.

The state news agency MENA reported Monday the Cabinet members will continue to perform their duties until the military council decides whether to accept the resignations.

Egyptian morgue officials say three days of clashes in Cairo and elsewhere have killed at least 22 people and wounded more than 1,700.

Related video report by Elizabeth Arrott

The U.N. secretary-general and the White House both said Monday they are "deeply concerned" about the violence and urged restraint by all sides.

Protesters continue to hold Cairo's central Tahrir Square, where security forces fired tear gas at demonstrators hurling objects at police.

Clashes also erupted near Egypt's Interior Ministry. Reuters quotes an army official as saying the ministry requested protection against the angry protesters, who want the head of the ruling military to swiftly hand over power to a civilian government.

Many of the demonstrators have been chanting "The people want to topple the field marshal," a reference to Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, leader of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. The Tantawi-led council took power in February when a popular uprising ousted autocratic President Hosni Mubarak.

Pro-democracy activists have criticized the council for setting guidelines for a new constitution that would keep some military affairs beyond civilian control. The activists also want the military rulers to stop putting civilians on trial in military courts.

Egyptian police and troops had briefly dispersed the activists in Cairo Sunday by firing tear gas and rubber bullets. Anti-government demonstrations have spread to several other Egyptian cities, including Alexandria and Suez.

The military-led government held an emergency meeting Sunday and promised to begin staggered parliamentary elections as planned on November 28.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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