CAIRO, EGYPT (NEWS1130) – Thousands of Egyptian anti-government protesters clashed with police in Cairo today. Police fired rubber bullets into the crowds and used tear gas and water cannons to disperse them.
Police also used water cannons against Egypt’s pro-democracy leader Mohamed ElBaradei and his supporters as they joined the latest wave of protests after noon prayers. Police armed with batons beat some of ElBaradei’s supporters, who surrounded him to protect him.
Clusters of riot police with helmets and shields were stationed around the city, at the entrances to bridges across the Nile and other key intersections. Near the city’s main Tahrir Square downtown, hundreds of riot police clustered together moved in, anticipating the arrival of thousands of protesters.
At Ramsis square in the heart of the city, thousands of protesters clashed with police as they left the al-Nur mosque after the prayers. Police used tear gas and rubber bullets. Some of the tear gas was fired inside the mosque, where women were taking refuge.
At the upscale Mohandiseen district, at least 10,000 of people were marching toward the city centre chanting “down, down with Mubarak.”
Regional television stations were reporting clashes between thousands of protesters and police in several other major Egyptian cities, including the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, Minya and Assiut south of Cairo and al-Arish in the Sinai peninsula.