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Deadly Clashes in Egypt Stretch Into Fourth Day

An Egyptian protester shows a spent cartridge casing during a demonstration at Tahrir Square in Cairo, December 19, 2011.

Egyptian officials say at least one person has been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces, as unrest in the capital, Cairo, continues for a fourth day.

Egypt's military rulers, meanwhile, say the use of force against protesters was justified. A spokesman for the military council, General Adel Emara, told reporters Monday protesters were trying to "topple the state." He said the demonstrators were provoking soldiers and destroying government property.

Egypt's Health Ministry announced the latest death Monday, bringing the four-day toll to 11 people. Authorities say more than 500 others have been hurt, while the military says at least 164 people have been detained.

The clashes broke out Friday, as protesters demanded that the country's military rulers step down immediately and hand power to a civilian government. They accuse the military council of manipulating the transition process to retain permanent powers.

The council is overseeing a three-month phased parliamentary election, and has promised to hand power to an elected president by July.

The second stage of the election took place last week. Egypt's main Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, said Sunday its party secured the biggest share of party-list votes in that round.

The Brotherhood's party and the ultra-conservative Islamist Al-Nur party also dominated the first stage of voting earlier this month.

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

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