Egyptian police arrest 1,000 in violent clashes

Egyptian officials last night confirmed two people had been killed in a fresh wave of anti-government protests in central Cairo.

Security sources said that a protester and a policeman died after being hit by a car during a clash in a poor neighbourhood. It brings the total number of people killed to six in two days of demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year regime.

News of the deaths came as the brother of political reform campaigner Mohamed ElBaradei confirmed he would return to Egypt on Thursday. ElBaradei is a vocal advocate of reform in Egyptian politics and a figurehead for many of the activists who organised the protests.

Egyptian police used tear gas, beatings and live ammunition fired into the air to quell those attempting to stage a repeat of the demonstrations that a day earlier brought tens of thousands of people on to the streets .

Nearly 1,000 people were arrested across Egypt yesterday as police mounted a coordinated crackdown using tear gas and beatings. The previous day up to 20,000 people joined marches across the nation that resulted in violent clashes, leaving a policeman and three protesters dead.

The authorities earlier declared a ban on any more protests in an effort to control an angry electorate, emboldened by street riots that sparked a revolt earlier this month in Tunisia. "All of Egypt must move, at one time," a Facebook group organising the demonstrations said yesterday, calling on Egyptians to come out for a second day of national protests. By the afternoon, access to Facebook along with Twitter appeared to be blocked.

The biggest demonstrations that Egypt has seen in more than three decades swept across the country on Tuesday in response to corruption, heavy-handed rule and deteriorating economic conditions. Inspired by the events in Tunisia that deposed President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali after 23 years in power, thousands defied the wrath of the authorities to march.

Similar protests, although much smaller in scale, have rattled leaders across the Arab world, where authoritarian rulers have reigned with an iron fist for decades, feared for their often ruthless suppression of political expression.

In the town of Suez, where three protesters were killed on Tuesday, hundreds of demonstrators descended on the morgue, demanding the release of one of the bodies for autopsy amid claims that he had been killed by live fire. "The government has killed my son," the Suez protesters chanted. "Oh Habib, tell your master, your hands are soiled with our blood," they said, referring to Interior Minister Habib al-Adli.

Protesters in Cairo and elsewhere defied the government ban, with roughly 3,000 gathering outside a Cairo court before they were broken up by police using riot trucks. Outside the Journalists' Union, police used batons to beat protesters who attempted to breach their cordons, while others chanted: "Mubarak is leaving, leaving. Oh Egyptian people, be brave and join us."

Every time that demonstrations grew in size, they were charged by riot police with helmets and shields. By the evening, protesters were fighting back, throwing stones and burning tyres.

The emotive street scenes come as Mr Mubarak, 82, heads towards new presidential elections this autumn, where he is expected to stand for a sixth consecutive term.

In the past year, there have been isolated outbursts of anger against the regime, focused around police brutality, poverty, and rising food prices and unemployment, similar to the grievances that sparked riots in Tunisia. In November, parliamentary elections were widely denounced as fraudulent.

Many have directed their anger at Mr Mubarak, who has held power in Egypt since 1981.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Systems and Network Support Analyst

£26000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a rapidly expandi...

Recruitment Genius: IT Systems Support Analyst

£20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a rapidly expandi...

Recruitment Genius: Business Travel Consultant

£20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in London, Manches...

Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker / Trainee Broker / Closer - OTE £250,000

£30000 - £250000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker/ Trainee FX, Stoc...

Day In a Page

Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests