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Clashes continue ahead of parliamentary election in Egypt

11-24-2011 20:37 BJT

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In Egypt, clashes continue for the sixth consecutive day as protesters step up their demand for the country’s military rulers to resign. The military council has promised to speed up the transition, but this hasn’t been enough to reassure the angry crowd.

Tanks patrolling the streets, tear gas fired at demonstrators. In the early hours of Thursday morning, clashes showed no signs of easing in the city of Ismailia next to the Suez Canal. In the coastal city of Alexandria, protesters chanted and waved flags in a relatively peaceful demonstration, although violent clashes later followed. While in the country’s capital Cairo, street battles have been heaviest around the heavily fortified Interior Ministry. Police are using tear gas and rubber bullets to keep the protesters from moving on to the nearby Tahrir Square.

A protester said, "We were holding prayers, they gassed us and then fired bullets while we were running away."

Reports say that due to the demonstrations, Egypt's Interior Minister presented a request to the military council to postpone parliamentary election planned for November 28. But the army and the Muslim Brotherhood say elections must go ahead. Many protesters are unwilling to trust the army to oversee a clean vote and hand real control of the country over to the winner.

Protester Abdellah Ragab said, "I am participating in this protest because I am convinced that after nine months of the revolution, none of our main demands have been achieved. Now we are demanding for a civil government to go through this transitional phase. We don't want the military to rule us, we don't believe them, and we don't believe the speech of the military ruler when he said he will hand over power to civilians in six months."

The protests began Saturday and are growing bigger and bigger by the day. Nearly 40 people have been killed as security forces try to suppress them. It deepens the country's economic and security crisis less than a week before the first parliamentary elections since the fall of Mubarak. Egyptians want Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi to step down immediately in favour of an interim civilian administration that would run the nation's affairs until a new parliament and president are elected. Tantawai on the other hand, tried to defuse tensions with an address late on Tuesday, but he did not set a date for handing authority to a civilian government.

Editor:Zhang Ning |Source: CNTV.CN

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