Hosni Mubarak faces unprecedented protests
(Reuters) -- by Marwa Awad and Alexander Dziadosz --
CAIRO (Reuters) - Police fired teargas and water cannon to disperse Egyptian protesters in Cairo in the early hours of Wednesday after a long day of unprecedented protests calling for President Hosni Mubarak to end his 30 year rule.
On Tuesday, two protesters and one policeman were killed in clashes and protests that erupted in several Egyptian cities, where demonstrators angry at poverty and repression have been inspired by this month's downfall of the leader of Tunisia.
"Down, Down Hosni Mubarak," protesters chanted after fleeing from the central Tahrir square. Some threw stones at the police, who charged them with batons to prevent the protesters returning to the square after it was cleared by using teargas.
"Bullies," fleeing protesters shouted. Others cried: "You are not men". Police sprayed a water cannon on protesters and moved in rows into the square.
Sporadic clashes took place into early Wednesday, but by the pre-dawn hours protesters appeared to have been dispersed. Police were milling about in Tahrir square, while street sweepers cleared away rocks and litter.
"Down with Mubarak" was still scrawled on a wall. Police trucks were lined up along a side street...
Web activists, who called for Tuesday's "Day of Wrath" against poverty and repression, have become some of the most vociferous critics of Mubarak and his three decades in office.
Their complaints echo those of fellow Arabs in Tunisia: soaring food prices, a lack of jobs and authoritarian rule that usually crushes protests swiftly and with a heavy hand.
Tuesday's demonstrations brought many thousands onto the streets of Cairo and several other cities in a coordinated wave of anti-government protests not witnessed since Mubarak came to office in 1981 after Anwar Sadat was assassinated by Islamists.
The population is growing 2 percent a year and has a "youth bulge", with some 60 percent under 30 years old, including 90 percent of jobless Egyptians. About 40 percent of citizens live on less than $2 a day and a third are illiterate.
Demands by the protesters were posted on Facebook and passed around Tahrir square on slips of paper before police moved in.
They included calling for Mubarak to step down, Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif to quit, parliament to be dissolved and the formation of a national government. A union activist repeated the demands to the crowd in the square by megaphone...MORE...LINK
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