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Jan
25

UPDATE: 3 KILLED IN EGYPTIAN MASS DEMOS

The Washington Post

Egyptian protesters denounce Hosni Mubarak; 3 killed

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/25/AR2011012500866_pf.html

Anti-government protests in Egypt
LEMONDE.FR with AFP | 25.01.11 | 2:55 p.m. • Updated 25.01.11 | 4:54 p.m.


15,000 people participated in Cairo Tuesday, January 25 demonstrations for political and social reforms by the testimony of a police officer told AFP. Meetings were also reported in the provinces, particularly in Alexandria (north), the second largest city, Aswan and Asyut (south), in several cities in the Nile Delta in Ismailiya (on the Suez Canal) or Northern Sinai.

In Cairo, the events that began in the downtown area near the buildings of the Supreme Court has expanded the area Mohaddessin, in the west of the capital where 2 to 3 000 people gathered, and other parts of the city.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered near the Supreme Court managed to force a police roadblock and spread into the surrounding streets and chanted “Tunisia is the solution” . The demonstrators chanted also “Down Mubarak , referring to the Egyptian president, aged 82 years and in place for 29 years, and demanded social and political reforms.

Al-Jazeera reported that it is very unusual for the police and demonstrators left movement without attempting to stop them. According to CNN , thousands of demonstrators headed for Parliament. Many videos posted on YouTube showed dozens of protesters chanting slogans against power in the street.

Other Internet broadcast live images of demonstrations using their mobile phones. They testify to the use by police water cannon to try to disperse the demonstrators. According to AFP, the police also make use of tear gas. Several witnesses tell Twitter that the demonstrators were surrounded by police on the spot Thar in downtown Cairo. The mico-blogging service is also partly inaccessible throughout the country, say several witnesses.

Twitter blocked in Egypt. DR
The company Vodafone confirms blocking Twitter in Egypt. DR
Several pro-democracy movement had called the people in Cairo and the provinces, to protest to make Tuesday a “day of revolt against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment” . This day coincided with the “Police Day” , a holiday intended to honor law enforcement.

MASSIVE POLICE DEPLOYMENT

The interior minister, Habib al-Adli told the government newspaper Al-Ahram that the organizers of the demonstrations were “unconscious” and assured that their calls would have “no impact” . “forces of order are able to face any threat against the safety of the population, and we do not take lightly any damage to property or any violation of law ” , he added.

Egyptians oppose the riot police during demonstrations against the government in Cairo Tuesday, January 25, 2011. AP / Mohammed Abu Zaid
Some 20 000 to 30 000 policemen were mobilized in the downtown district and the Ministry of Interior has been completed, said the security services. Their numbers were reinforced at several major intersections in the Egyptian metropolis, the protesters planned to gather at several locations. Cairo University was also under high surveillance of riot police.

The government has stepped up in recent days the statements assuring that Egypt does not pose a risk of contagion to Tunisia. However, the authorities suggested they were taking steps to avoid price increases or shortages of commodities, so as not to aggravate the social climate.

EVENTS IN THE COUNTRY

A Ismailiya on the Suez Canal, some 200 to 250 people gathered at a place downtown in front of a strong police presence. The protesters chanted “After Ben Ali , who’s next? ” in reference to Tunisian president expelled mid-January by a popular revolt after 23 years in power.

In the northern Sinai Peninsula, hundreds of people have cut a road between al-Arish and Rafah, near the border with the Gaza Strip, setting fire to tires, witnesses said.

With over 80 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in the Arab world, and over 40% of its population lives below a poverty line of two dollars per day per person. Several immolation by fire took place in Egypt in recent days, reminiscent of a young street vendor Tunisian mid-December, which triggered the revolt in Tunisia.

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