News / Middle East

Egypt Police Disperse Anti-Mubarak Protesters

Thousands of demonstrators protest in central Cairo demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak and calling for reforms, 25 Jan 2011
Thousands of demonstrators protest in central Cairo demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak and calling for reforms, 25 Jan 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

Egyptian police fired tear gas and beat anti-government protesters to clear thousands of people from a central Cairo square Wednesday, after the largest demonstrations in years against President Hosni Mubarak's decades-old rule.

Three people were reported to have died in the nationwide unrest inspired by Tunisia's uprising. Two protesters were killed during a demonstration in the port city of Suez while a police officer died from injuries sustained during the protests in Cairo.

Waves of rock-throwing demonstrators occupied Cairo's Tahrir Square for hours Tuesday, beating back attempts to dislodge them by police wielding tear gas and water cannons. Several thousand people demonstrated in Alexandria, and there were reports of large protests in other cities including Mansoura and Mahalla al-Kobra.

Tuesday's demonstrations began peacefully, with police at first showing restraint. Several people said the clashes began in Cairo after protesters attempted to take control of a water cannon truck.

Such a coordinated wave of anti-government protests has not been seen in Egypt since Mr. Mubarak took power in 1981 after former President Anwar Sadat was assassinated by Islamists.

Egyptians Tuesday called for political and economic reforms in rallies inspired by demonstrations in Tunisia that led to the ouster of that country's president earlier this month. The unrest took place despite government warnings that demonstrators could be arrested.

The protests were promoted online by groups saying they speak for young Egyptians frustrated with the kind of poverty and oppression that triggered Tunisia's unrest.

Activists from Egypt's Kifaya (Enough) movement - a coalition of government opponents - and the 6th of April Youth Movement organized the protests on the Facebook  and Twitter  social networking websites. Western news reports said Twitter  appeared to be blocked in Egypt later Tuesday.

Legal parties such as the liberal Wafd, as well as the banned Muslim Brotherhood - Egypt's largest and best organized opposition group - did not formally endorse the demonstrations, but a number of their members took part.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that Washington supports the "fundamental right of expression and assembly," but she urged Egyptians to refrain from violence.

Emergency laws in place since 1981 outlaw demonstrations without prior permission. Opposition groups said they were denied such permits for Tuesday's rallies, planned to coincide with a national holiday honoring the police, a key force in keeping President Mubarak in power.

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 1 galvanized protesters there.

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

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid