[QODLink]
Middle East
Egyptians rally for 'civil state'
Hundreds clash with riot police in Cairo as they try to resurrect rallies aimed at pushing along promised reforms.
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2011 04:08

Several hundred protesters have clashed with riot police in Cairo's Tahrir Square, defying Egypt's military rulers who are eager to prevent any demonstrations there since forcefully clearing a weeks-long sit-in by youth activists last week.

The demonstrators called for a "civil state" after a visit by Egypt's ruling general, field marshal Hussein Tantawi.

"Civil, civil" and "down with military rule" they chanted late on Friday.

Brief clashes erupted as demonstrators pelted police with stones and water bottles prompting a response in kind.

But calm quickly returned as another group of demonstrators intervened chanting "peaceful, peaceful. The army and the people are a single hand."


Scott Heidler reports from Tahrir Square

The protest unfolded after the iftar meal that breaks the daytime fast during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

The demonstration in favour of a civil state came as a counter to a July 30 rally that drew hundreds of thousands of Islamists to Tahrir in a show of support for what they called "Egypt's Islamic identity".

Dozens of groups had called for rallies marking a "Friday of love for Egypt" but they decided to postpone the gathering to "be better prepared", local press reported, although some of them decided to observe iftar.

Tantawi earlier in the day inspected military police deployed in Tahrir square, epicentre of the January-February revolt that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt's army is eager to prevent rallies in Tahrir Square because activists have used the protests to pressure the military.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Mother of jailed Al Jazeera journalist Abdullah Elshamy says her son's ordeal highlights the value of press freedom.
French Jews and Muslims say recent National Front victories in mayoral races reflect rising xenophobia.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Featured
Survivors of Bangladesh garment factory collapse say they received little compensation and face economic hardship.
As Iraq prepares to vote, deadly violence is surging. But at the site of one bomb attack, people insist life must go on.
French Jews and Muslims say recent National Front victories in mayoral races reflect rising xenophobia.
Up to 23,000 federal prisoners could qualify for clemency under new Justice Department initiative.
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
join our mailing list