Tahrir tear gas: Revolution flashback on election eve

Clashes between Egyptian riot police and rock-hurling protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square continue on Sunday, with violence spilling over to other cities. Riot police are said to have gone out in force, using clouds of tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Two people are believed to have been killed and over 670 injured as clashes continue into the third day.

Police were said to be firing rubber bullets and tear gas, and beating protesters with batons in an attempt to clear Tahrir Square overnight, dismantling a tent camp set up to commemorate protesters killed in the February uprising.

According to reports, most of Tahrir Square was covered with debris and shattered glass on Sunday following what is reported to be the worst standoff between police and protesters in months.

All roads leading to the square were blocked by protesters, who ran ID checks on anyone coming into the area.

Clashes in Cairo (AP still)

­Sunday’s clashes were mostly on a road leading from the square to the Interior Ministry.

Internet social networks have called for Egyptians to join the demonstrations, with reports that several groups were headed to the square, including one from Cairo University.

Clashes in Cairo (AP still)

­According to Associated Press, hundreds of demonstrators threw stones at the main security headquarters in the city of Alexandria.

In the eastern city of Suez, about 1,000 people took to the streets outside a police station on Saturday night to show their support for the demonstrators in the country’s capital. Protesters in Suez tore down banners of former members of Mubarak’s party, who are running in the country’s first election since the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak in February.

Clashes in Cairo (AP still)

The recent violence brings fears of new unrest ahead of the parliamentary elections, set to start on November 28.

The military, which took over from Mubarak, has repeatedly pledged to hand over power to an elected government.  

But now reports suggest the handover, according to the military, will take place only after the presidential elections, which are slated to be held late next year or early in 2013.

Clashes in Cairo (AP still)

­But the protesters want a handover to take place immediately after the end of parliamentary elections in March.

One of the protesters at the scene explained Associated Press that public anger has risen over the slow pace of reforms.

“We joined the protest because none of goals of the revolution has been achieved and the slogans of the revolution, which are freedom, humanity and dignity, have not been fulfilled,” it quotes one of those rallying as saying.

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