News / Middle East

Egyptians Clash Ahead of Elections

Egyptian soldiers stand behind a barbed wire fence while guarding the Cabinet building near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011.
Egyptian soldiers stand behind a barbed wire fence while guarding the Cabinet building near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011.

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  • Interview with Dr. Walid Phares, author of "The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East"

New clashes have erupted in Cairo's Tahrir Square where protesters are pressing their demand for the resignation of the country's military rulers.

Egyptian security forces fired tear gas at crowds of stone-throwing protesters on Saturday. At least one person was killed after being run over by a security vehicle. Egyptian officials say the incident was an accident.

On Friday, security forces and protesters clashed in Alexandria. At least 42 people have been killed in protest-related clashes across the country over the past week.

The unrest is unfolding as Egypt prepares to begin parliamentary elections on Monday, the first polling since former President Hosni Mubarak resigned in February.

On Saturday, the ruling military council held separate talks with two presidential hopefuls, opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei and former Arab League chief Amr Moussa. The Reuters news agency says Moussa and military rulers discussed ways to end the current political crisis.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton condemned the violence on Saturday and urged Egypt to maintain the rule of law.

Many of the protesters have also criticized the military ruling council's appointment of an official who served under Mubarak as the country new prime minister.

Kamal el-Ganzouri said Friday he would not be able to form a new Cabinet before Monday's parliamentary elections.  

Separately Saturday, three American students arrested during a protest in Egypt were put on flights and left Egypt.

Derrick Sweeney, Luke Gates and Gregory Porter attended the American University in Cairo and were arrested Sunday on the roof of a building near Tahrir Square. Officials accused them of throwing firebombs at security forces who were fighting protesters.

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

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