Three Dead as Protesters, Police Clash in Egypt
Three people were killed as protesters and policemen clashed in Egypt on Tuesday. Two of the dead were protesters killed in Suez. The third was a police officer who was hit in the head by a rock in Cairo. Protesters reported beatings and arrests as well.
The protests continued after nightfall, with thousands remaining on the streets.
Police had used tear gas and water cannons to drive back the crowds. Protesters fought back by throwing stones.
Tuesday's demonstrations were the largest in Egypt in more than 20 years. The Egyptian opposition is hoping to replicate the overthrow in Tunisia, where a massive demonstration brought an end to the 23-year regime of Zine El Abidine two weeks ago.
Protesters shouted “Down with Hosni Mubarak.” Mubarak has ruled Egypt for almost 30 years. His National Democratic Party was accused of cheating in recent parliamentary elections.
Protesters made use of social media, including Facebook and Twitter, to organize demonstrations in several cities, and to send out pictures and reports throughout the day. CNN correspondent Ben Wedeman reported from Egypt that some cell phone towers were apparently deactivated during the day; however, protesters with computer access continued to send footage of the rallies around the world.
Media analysts noted as the protests began that Egyptians may find it difficult to duplicate the successful revolt in Tunisia, due to the Egyptian government's control over the police and military. However, Tuesday's protests were notable both for their size and for the fact that in many places police were unable – or unwilling – to quell the demonstrations.