More Clashes in Cairo: Protest Death Toll Rises to 14

Posted December 20th, 2011 at 12:30 pm (UTC-5)
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Egyptian security forces have clashed with stone-throwing protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square for a fifth day.

Medical officials say at least two people were killed on Tuesday after security forces launched a new raid on the square, raising the death toll from five days of unrest to at least 14.

Security forces have been trying to clear the square of protesters who have been calling for an end to Egypt's military rule.

The ruling military council has defended the use of force, saying the protesters have been provoking soldiers and destroying government property.

The violence has drawn U.S. condemnation. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that the recent events in Egypt were “shocking,” particularly the treatment of women.

“Women protesters have been rounded up and subjected to horrific abuse,” said Clinton. “Journalists have been sexually assaulted. And now, women are being attacked, stripped, and beaten in the streets. This systematic degradation of Egyptian women dishonors the revolution, disgraces the state and its uniform, and is not worthy of a great people.”

Clinton said the military rulers and major political parties are keeping women out of the decision-making process as Egypt continues its political transition.

Demonstrators have accused the ruling military council of manipulating the country's transition process to retain permanent powers.