1,000 Injured as Egyptian Police Clash with Protesters in Cairo

Posted June 29th, 2011 at 11:00 am (UTC-5)
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Egypt's health ministry says violent confrontations between police and protesters in central Cairo have injured more than a thousand people in the largest outbreak of unrest to hit the Egyptian capital in weeks.

Witnesses say most of those injured in the protests that began late Tuesday and lasted into Wednesday suffered smoke inhalation from tear gas fired by police to disperse rioters who threw stones and burned tires. Clouds of smoke engulfed the area.

Around 70 people were admitted to hospitals. The Egyptian interior ministry says at least 40 security personnel were among those hurt.

Some of the demonstrators demanded that Egypt's military leadership speed up prosecutions of officials they blame for a deadly crackdown on a revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February. At least 850 people were killed during the 18-day revolt.

Other protesters who gathered in Cairo's Tahir Square chanted demands for the ousting of Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, who leads the military council that took over when Mr. Mubarak resigned after three decades of autocratic rule.

The military council issued a statement Wednesday criticizing the latest protests, calling them an attempt to destabilize Egypt and part of a scheme to sow division between the people and security forces.

The unrest began late Tuesday when a group of people tried to enter a Cairo theater where a ceremony was being held to honor those killed in the uprising against Mr. Mubarak.

Security officials refused to let them in, saying they were not invited. A confrontation erupted when some in the group attempted to storm the building.