Nationwide protests jolt Egypt, 3 killed

17:18, January 26, 2011      

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Protesters confront police during an anti-government demonstration in Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 25, 2011. Thousands of Egyptian protesters hit the streets Tuesday in an unprecedented demonstration against President Hosni Mubarak and the government, causing downtown Cairo to become standstill and gaining momentum all over the country rapidly. (Xinhua/Ahmad Karem)

Tens of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets across the country on Tuesday in the largest waves of protests the Arab nation has seen in decades.

Till early Wednesday, violent clashes between police and demonstrators had killed one police officer in Cairo and two protesters in the port city of Suez. Security sources said over 50 policemen had been wounded. The number of injured protesters is yet to know.

Tuesday marked Egypt's National Police Day, yet demonstrators dubbed it a "Day of Anger" and followed an online call for massive protests against corruption, poverty, unemployment and other social and political grievances.

Among the demands of the protesters were an end to President Hosni Mubarak's rule, a change of the country's governing system and a solution to the country's rampant poverty and corruption.

The Egyptian Interior Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday night that it had decided to allow protesters to exercise their freedom of expression and commit security forces to safeguarding rather than confronting the gatherings.

But some protesters, "particularly a large number of those affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood... began to riot, damage public property and throw stones at police forces," it added.

In downtown Cairo, security forces dispersed thousands of protesters, mostly young people, with tear gas on early Wednesday at Tahrir Square, where demonstrators had gathered since midday Tuesday, shouting anti-government slogans.

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