News / Africa

Anti-Government Protests Continue to Rock Egypt

Egyptian anti-government activists throw stones at riot police during clashes in Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 26, 2011.
Egyptian anti-government activists throw stones at riot police during clashes in Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 26, 2011.

Egyptian riot police clashed with thousands of anti-government activists for a second day Wednesday, firing rubber bullets and using tear gas and batons on protesters who defied a government ban on demonstrations.

At least four people have died in two days of demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year-old rule. Another two people were killed Wednesday as the protests unfolded, but officials gave contradictory accounts of their deaths.

In the city of Suez, east of Cairo, protesters set a government building on fire late Wednesday. Others attempted to firebomb the ruling National Democratic Party's local headquarters before police pushed them back with teargas. At least 55 people were hurt in the clashes.

After nightfall, more than 2,000 people continued their protests in various parts of Cairo. Demonstrators in the Egyptian capital set tires on fire and threw rocks at security officials, who drove back the crowds with armored vehicles and water cannons.

The government says at least 700 people have been arrested in the waves of unrest across the country. The anti-government rallies are the largest demonstrations that Egypt has seen in years.

In Washington, White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs said Egypt remains "a close ally," while stressing the importance of universal rights for the Egyptian people. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged the Egyptian government to allow peaceful protests instead of cracking down.

During an appearance with Jordan's foreign minister, Nasser Judeh, Clinton also called on Egypt to refrain from blocking social media websites. Egyptians complained that Twitter  andFacebook  accounts have been down for the last two days, but many accessed them via proxies. Twitter  confirmed its site was blocked on Tuesday.

The April 6th Youth movement, which has organized the protests through Facebook  along with other groups, said it was planning a large demonstration after Friday prayers. The organizations say they speak for young Egyptians frustrated with the kind of poverty and oppression that triggered Tunisia's unrest.

Wednesday's clashes took place in spite of a warning from the Interior Ministry that no new demonstrations would be allowed and protesters would be prosecuted.

The protests, which have rolled through in Cairo and other major cities, saw thousands of people calling for an end to Mr. Mubarak's regime. Egypt's government said at least 85 police officers have been wounded in the clashes.

Such a coordinated wave of anti-government action has not been seen in Egypt since Mr. Mubarak assumed power in 1981 after Islamists assassinated President Anwar Sadat.

Since Tunisia's anti-government protests, at least five Egyptians have attempted suicide by self-immolation, imitating the young Tunisian whose burning death in December first galvanized protesters there.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

Video footage of Egypt protests:

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid