Mass protests rock Egypt

‘Day of revolt’ brings thousands out onto streets of Cairo

On the heels of the Tunisian protests that saw President Zine al-Abadine Ben Ali ousted, police struggled to push back an unexpected number of protestors in the streets of Cairo on Tuesday. Such anti-government demonstrations are rare in Egypt, where strongman President Hosni Mubarak has ruled authoritatively for thirty years. The call for a ‘day of revolt’ was organized on Facebook, with tens of thousands saying they would attend. But the turnout was far greater than expected, with police struggling to contain the size and fury of the crowd. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed support for the right of the Egyptian people to demonstrate their right to peacefully protest, but called for restraint from both sides, saying the Egyptian government is “looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people.” There are also reports of similar protests in the cities of Alexandria and Ismailya. The Egyptians have similar grievances to the Tunisians, with government corruption, rising food prices and unemployment.

BBC News

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