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29 Killed as Egypt Marks Anniversary of Uprising



Egyptian officials say clashes have left at least 29 people dead as government supporters marked the third anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

Authorities Saturday said the deaths occurred as anti-government activists fought security forces and government loyalists.

They say most of those killed were in Cairo, where thousands of people had gathered in a show of support for the current government.

Supporters flooded Tahrir Square for government sanctioned celebrations marking the anniversary of the uprising. Some waved flags and posters as they pledged support for Defense Minister and defacto leader General Abdel Fatah el-Sissi. Some of his supporters have been urging him to run for president.

In other areas in Cairo and several other cities, however, police fired tear gas and gunshots into the air to disperse protesters at anti-government demonstrations.

Video has shown government supporters in Cairo hurling rocks at opponents who included backers of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and those opposed to the current military-installed government.

As Saturday's ceremony got under way, a car bomb exploded near a security facility in the city of Suez. Earlier, a bomb exploded near a Cairo police academy.



The blasts occurred a day after six police officers were killed in a series of explosions that rocked Cairo.

An al-Qaida-inspired group in Egypt has claimed responsibility for Friday's bombings.

Asar Beit al-Maqdis, or Partisans for Jerusalem, released a statement Saturday claiming responsibility.
The statement also warned Muslims to stay away from police stations.

The Friday bombings were part of a wave of unrest across Egypt that left at least 20 people dead. Authorities say the remaining deaths occurred in clashes among Islamist protesters, their secular opponents and police.

The 2011 Arab Spring uprising that swept through large parts of the Middle East raised hopes in Egypt for a stable democracy in the Arab world's largest nation.

Instead, the country has been mired in political turmoil, as Islamist backers of ousted president Morsi battle to regain control of the country from the military-backed government that drove him from power.

Mr. Morsi came to power as Egypt's first democratically elected president after Hosni Mubarak stepped down under pressure three years ago.

Last year, the military-backed government of secularists and liberals that replaced Mr. Morsi also designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group following a bombing of security offices that killed 15 people.

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