Egyptian police and protesters clash on Cairo's Tahrir Square after two killed overnight
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Clashes continued on Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Sunday after two people died and an estimated 500 were injured overnight. Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas Sunday morning to prevent protesters storming the interior ministry, reports said.
Despite an appeal by Prime Minister Essam Sharaf to stay away, hundreds of Egyptians headed for the square to show solidarity with Saturday night’s victims, injured by the riot police, notorious for the violence the employed against protests against deposed President Hosni Mubarak.
Some demonstrators set up barricades on the edges of Tahrir Square.
As the wounded were tended in improvised hospitals in nearby mosques, demonstrators chanted slogans against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf) and the interim military government’s head, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.
Tantawi was defence minister under Mubarak. The demonstrators want the military to set a date for a handover to civilian rule.
The two protesters killed were:
- Ahmed Mahmoud, 23, who sustained a bullet wound to the chest in Cairo;
- Baha Eddin Mohamed Hussein, 25, hit by a rubber bullet in Alexandria as the protests spread from the capital.
The clashes began Saturday in Tahrir Square, as police tried to break up a lengthy sit-in organised by some of the groups that started the anti-Mubarak uprising.
The sit-in had been joined by some of the tens of thousands who demonstrated in the square on Friday.
Police had seized the square, only to be beaten back by protesters who triumphantly retook it on Saturday evening chanting "The people want to topple the field marshal".
A general election is set to start on 28 November and run through into January.
Israel’s ambassador to Egypt, Yitzhak Levanon, returned to Cairo on Sunday two months after an angry crowd attacked the Israeli embassy.
Levanon arrived in secrecy, according to airport officials who leaked the news.
He is apparently in Cairo to find a new location for the embassy.
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