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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs