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Egypt Protests Turn Deadly: Hundreds Injured In Renewed Protests In Major Cities
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Egypt Protests Turn Deadly: Hundreds Injured In Renewed Protests In Major Cities

To those who were there during the first wave of protest, the scene in Tahrir Square in Cairo, the scene over the past weekend may have been a grim reminder of how far Egypt has to come, despite its progress so far. Tens of thousands had come to the Square to set up a memorial tent camp in honor of those who died during the spring uprising that led to the end of the regime of Hosni Mubarak.

Mubarak had used his black clad policemen to effect dominance in the country, it was those police that were often a symbol of what was wrong with Egypt. The police have only been involved with a few events, leaving security efforts to the military instead. The protests had been peaceful until the police arrived to dismantle the tents and to urge the protesters to leave the area. Police fired canisters of tear gas into the crowds, firing rounds of rubber bullets at them as well. Some activists told the media that the police were purposely aiming the bullets for the heads and faces of protesters, intending to cause serious damage in the process. Head and face injuries were common in the after math of the protest, including several people who have lost an eye. Protesters returned late in the night, setting fire to several tires in the area.

Prime Minister Essam Sharaf spoke to the Egyptian people, asking them to clear Tahrir Square, adding that these protests were a "danger to the course of the nation".

Protests were also held in Alexandria and Suez, a port city off of the Red Sea. Protesters in both of those cities targeted police headquarters. In Alexandria, hundreds threw rocks at a security headquarter while in Suez, a fire bomb was thrown at a local police station.

Protesters are concerned about the slow pace of reform in Egypt and the threat that their earlier protests may have led to little real progress. A preliminary draft of what is to be the nation's new constitution has also caused anger. In that document, the military would be allowed to operate in secrecy, with little to no oversight by civilians, including their budget amounts. In addition, the majority of the members of a new parliament would be appointed by the military rather than elected by the people.

The first of elections in Egypt are scheduled for the end of November but the first presidential election may not be held until 2013.


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